vat refund exhibitions conferences


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Organizations on exhibitions and conferences allowed to refund VAT value imposed on the provision of services required for setting up events.


The UAE government has approved a resolution pertaining to VAT (Value Added Tax) on Exhibitions and Conferences. The decision stipulates that facilities operating in the exhibitions and conferences sector are entitled to refund VAT imposed on the provision of services required for setting up these events.


The government is continuously supporting this sector which is helping in enhancing the country’s status as a hub for the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE).

According to the resolution, any exhibition authorized by the competent local authority that is held for seven days or less, or any meeting between people sharing the same interest and authorized by the competent local authority for seven days or less, shall be eligible for refund of the VAT value, provided that the service recipient has no established base or a permanent facility in the UAE.


Refund can be claimed for two types of services, these are –


1. Right to access, attend or participate in a conference or an exhibition.

2. Right to occupy space for conducting a conference or exhibition.



The decision aims to boost the ease of doing business and enhance the competitiveness of the UAE in this sector. According to the recent statistics, the annual contribution of MICE sector is Dh 2.39 billion while it is anticipated to grow to Dh 5.1 billion by 2020 in the UAE economy. VAT can be redeemed in accordance with the decision if the recipient of the services does not have a permanent establishment or facility in the country, is not registered or required to register in the UAE and has not paid a tax to the supplier. The decision will attract the world’s leading event organizing companies which will maintain the country’s global lead with the efficient implementation of the tax system.


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