UAE approves VAT refund for tourists 

Dubal Mall shopping mall on August 7 in Dubai, UAE. (shutterstock)
Updated 13 July 2018
0

UAE approves VAT refund for tourists 

  • The UAE introduced VAT in the country on January 1, 2018, at a rate of five percent
  • But the refund scheme will not apply to all purchases, instead only items bought from a select group of retailers will fall under the program

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates announced on Wednesday that Value Added Tax refunds will be available for  tourists visiting from overseas, state news agency WAM reported.

The UAE introduced VAT in the country on January 1, 2018, at a rate of five percent.

The UAE aims to grow the tourism sector and maintain its position as a global destination for tourists with the new VAT refund system, the report added.

“The system will be implemented beginning the fourth quarter of 2018 in cooperation with an international specialized company in tax recovery services," a press statement read.

But the refund scheme will not apply to all purchases, instead only items bought from a select group of retailers will fall under the program. 

The total contribution of the tourism sector to the country's GDP reached 11.3 percent in 2017, equivalent to 154.1 billion AED ($41.9 billion)


Filipino remittances from the Middle East down 15.3% in 2018

Updated 2 min 6 sec ago
0

Filipino remittances from the Middle East down 15.3% in 2018

  • Cash remittances from OFWs in Saudi Arabia fell 11.1 percent last year to $2.23 billion from $2.51 billion previously
  • Personal remittances are a major driver of domestic consumption

DUBAI: Money sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East went down 15.3 percent to $6.62 billion in 2018 from $7.81 billion a year earlier, latest government data shows.
Lower crude prices, which affected most OFW host countries in the region, the job nationalization schemes of Gulf states and a deployment ban last year of household service workers to Kuwait were the primary reasons for the decline, a reversal from the 3.4 percent remittance growth recorded in 2017.
A government study has noted that Saudi Arabia was the leading country of destination for OFWs, with more than a quarter of Filipinos being deployed there at any given time, together with the United Arab Emirates (15.3 percent), Kuwait (6.7 percent) and Qatar (5.5 percent).
Cash remittances from OFWs in Saudi Arabia fell 11.1 percent last year to $2.23 billion from $2.51 billion a year before; down 19.9 percent to $2.03 billion in the UAE from $2.54 billion in 2017; 14.5 percent lower in Kuwait to $689.61 million from $806.48 million and 9.2 percent down in Qatar to $1 billion in 2018, from $1.1 billion a year earlier.
The Philippine government issued a deployment ban for Kuwait early last year, and lasted for five months, after a string of reported deaths and abuses on Filipino workers in the Gulf state.
OFW remittances from Oman, which implemented a job nationalization program like that of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, dove 33.8 percent to $228.74 million in 2018 from $345.41 million a year before. In Bahrain, cash sent by Filipinos rose 2.2 percent to $234.14 million last year from $229.02 million previously.
Meanwhile, overall OFW remittances grew 3 percent year-on-year to $32.2 billion, the highest annual level to date.
“The growth in personal remittances during the year was driven by remittance inflows from land-based OFs with work contracts of one year or more and remittances from both sea-based and land-based OFs with work contracts of less than one year,” the Philippine central monetary authority said.
Personal remittances are a major driver of domestic consumption and in 2018 accounted for 9.7 percent of the Philippines’ gross domestic product.