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UAE Tourist Tax Refunds Surge by 14.41% in 2023: FTA Director-General

UAE Tourist Tax Refunds Surge by 14.41% in 2023: FTA Director-General

In a notable revelation, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has disclosed a 14.41% surge in tax refund transactions for tourists in the UAE, reaching a total of 4.18 million transactions in 2023. Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director-General of FTA, shared insights with the Emirates News Agency (WAM), shedding light on the robust performance of the electronic system for VAT refunds to tourists.

Since its inception in November 2018, the electronic system has witnessed remarkable growth, processing approximately 14 million transactions by the end of 2023. The daily average of tax refund transactions has steadily increased over the years, with 11,460 transactions recorded per day in 2023.

Al Bustani attributed this growth to the UAE’s tourism recovery and the continuous enhancements made to the electronic system. Notably, the total annual number of transactions has shown consistent growth, rising from 1.51 million in 2020 to 4.18 million in 2023, reflecting a 14.41% increase.

The expansion of the digital tourist VAT refund system has been pivotal in achieving these milestones, with over 16,480 retail outlets electronically linked to the system by the end of 2023, marking a 60.62% increase since 2020. This digital transformation aligns with the government’s digital strategy for smart service transformation and aims to enhance the country’s competitiveness, particularly in the tourism sector.

The Director-General emphasized the Authority’s commitment to user-centric services, highlighting the deployment of self-service devices across major commercial centers and hotels. Currently, 85 self-service VAT refund devices are operational, offering tourists fully automated refund procedures within minutes.

In a separate development, the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) signed a Collaboration Agreement with the Registration Authority (RA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to bolster the business and investment environment in the emirate. This agreement underscores efforts to support national economic diversification and promote growth and innovation across various business sectors.

The updated collaboration agreement reflects the evolving business landscape in Abu Dhabi, facilitating registration and licensing procedures for free zone companies while streamlining their membership with the Chamber.

With these initiatives, the UAE continues to demonstrate its commitment to fostering a conducive environment for business growth and enhancing the overall experience for tourists visiting the country.

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