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Expo 2020 Dubai: VAT Refund Scheme for official participants

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

Expo 2020 Dubai

VAT Refund Scheme for official participants

Expo 2020 is a World Expo to be hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, opening on October 20, 2020. The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) general assembly in Paris awarded Dubai as the host on November 27, 2013.

The expo will have a theme called "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future". The expo will also have three sub-themes: opportunity, mobility and sustainability, each with its own pavilion

What Expo 2020 means for the participating countries

Dubai will host Expo 2020 and the participant will have to comply VAT regulation, as the VAT will be applied to most of the supplies (goods & services) in UAE.

To support the expo 2020 and to create some incentives and reduce the cost for the official participants, the Federal Tax authority (FTA) in UAE has published a Cabinet Decision allowing official participants to claim a refund of VAT paid on goods and services directly connected with the Expo 2020 site.

Official participants are required to apply for a Certificate of Refund Entitlement before reclaiming VAT under this scheme.

VAT Refund Process – EXPO 2020

The refund claim can be made by official participants that are registered for VAT through their VAT returns. Official participants that are not registered for VAT must make a special refund application to The Bureau Expo 2020.

The FTA has also released a guide explaining the eligibility criteria and procedures of the scheme.

Highlights of the special refund Scheme

Eligibility Criteria

Officials participants will be eligible for refund if they are holding a valid Expo 2020 Trade License number and no more than 20% of the exhibition space or presentation is, has been, or is intended to be used for non-official or commercial purposes

What can be claimed?

Official Participants are able to reclaim VAT incurred on the import and acquisition of specified Goods and Services incurred in relation to construction, decoration, operation, installation and specific staff personal expenses without the need to use them for making taxable supplies

Frequency of the refund application

- Within 15 days of the end of the calendar month in which the total VAT value to be claimed is AED 10,000 or more.

- Within 15 days of the end of the calendar quarter where the total VAT value to be claimed is less than AED 10,000.

How Becker Advisors can support you?

As a registered Tax Agency with FTA, our qualified registered tax Agents and

consultants will ensure VAT compliance while participating in the 2020 Expo are


We will support you with respect to the following:

1- 2020 Expo Dubai trade license application and Emirates ID in case of applicant’s


2- Registration for VAT with the Federal Tax Authority

3- Support in filing the periodic VAT return and refund application.

4- Compliance support in filing the Certificate of refund entitlement

5- Regular communication and follow up with the Bureau on your behalf

6- Providing you with latest updates in UAE VAT that are relevant to 2020 Expo

Let’s Talk

For a deeper discussion, please contact us:

Muhanned Anbari, CPA

Registered Tax Agent

T: + 971 (0) 4 589 6323


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