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Tourist taxes in UAE - Complete Guide


Page update - Sep 17, 2022

On this page we will talk about taxes and fees from tourists in the UAE. Usually this refers to the money that tourists have to pay in hotels on top of the declared cost of stay, or fees for entry, exit or stay in the country. The UAE has several types of such tourist fees. Let's look at all of them.

This page was updated in September 2022. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, tourist taxes are not being eliminated, but rather the opposite. Abu Dhabi had reduced tourist taxes in effect since 2018. But now the tourist taxes have returned (raised again). More details below on this page.

Good news

No money is taken from tourists at the entry or exit of the UAE. Only the visa can be paid. The visa rules vary for different countries. For some the visa is free of charge, for some is paid.

Bad news

There are taxes for staying in hotels. Each emirate has its own set. The main negative is that when declaring the price for staying in hotels in the UAE, these fees are almost never included.

For example. You calculate your vacation budget in the UAE and conclude that you can pay USD 60 for a hotel room. You visit booking.com or another search engine, and find a suitable hotel for USD 60. But as a result, you have to pay not USD 60, but USD 78. Agree, it's extremely unpleasant. In order to be prepared for such moments, read this page to the end.

Additional taxes for tourists in the UAE are:

1. VAT tax was introduced on January 1, 2018, is 5%;

2. A special tax "Tourism Dirham" exists in Dubai, Abu-Dhabi, Ras Al-Khaimah. The rate depends on the stars of the hotel;

3. Surcharge "service", actually a federal tax of 10%;

4. Municipal tax, taken to the local budgets, differs in different emirates.

If you go on vacation with a package tour

The situation is simplified compared to direct hotel booking. Most tour operators have all taxes and charges at the hotel included in the cost of the travel package. Most tour operators, but not all. Therefore, when buying a tour package you should ask a simple question to a travel agent, "What other surcharges are waiting in the hotel?" Depending on the answer, calculate the real cost of the vacation.

Sometimes, comparing the cost of vacation in the UAE on package tours and on your own, the tours seem much more expensive. However, if you take into account all these hotel taxes, the prices are approximately equal. Be ready to think and calculate, and you will not lose money.



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If you are traveling on your own

Remember that the prices on official hotel websites, booking.com, and other hotel finders are usually quoted without taxes and charges. But if you pay in advance by credit card or at the hotel you have to pay the full price. How much more? It depends on the emirate and hotel category.

Taxes and fees are sometimes written nearby by the small print. You should pay attention to the small prints.

Emirate of Dubai

In the Emirate of Dubai: municipal tax - 7% (reduced since June 2018, previously it was 10%), service charge - 10%, VAT - 5%. "Tourism Dirham" tax depends on the category of the hotel. Charged per bedroom per night. That is:

- If you live in an ordinary room (one bedroom), you pay 1 rate per night, and it does not matter how many people live and how many beds;

- If you live in hotel in two rooms, but only one of them is a bedroom, you pay 1 rate per night, and it doesn't matter how many people live or how many beds;

- But if you live in an expensive two-bedroom, you pay 2 rates per night. If there are 3 bedrooms, you pay 3 rates, and so on.

Rate (per bedroom per night)
5 Star Hotels, Deluxe Apartments AED 20
4 Stars, Superior Apartments AED 15
3 & 2 Stars, Ordinary Apartments AED 10
1 Star, Guest Houses, Hostels AED 7

See our page "Money in the UAE" for the current exchange rate.

The full price of accommodation per night:

Municipal tax +7%
Service charge +10%
VAT +5% (from price), +5% (from service charge)
Tourism Dirham Depends on the stars, see above figures
Total Price + 22,5% + Tourism Dirham

Let's take the following example

Sheraton Grand Hotel 5* in Dubai. The official website states a price of AED 650. See the first (left) screenshot below. Of course, this is without taxes. But as soon as you start booking a room, the full price appears - AED 816,25, see the second (middle) screenshot below.

The calculation is correct: Full Price = Price + 22.5% + AED 20 (for 5 stars).

If you look at the room offer at the same Sheraton Grand hotel on booking.com, you will see the addition in small letters "+AED 178 taxes and charges". That is the taxes, see the third (right) screenshot below.

An important point! The Sheraton Grand is as honest as can be in the UAE. They do not show you the total price right away, but you see it before you pay and enter the guest information. Not all hotels are so honest, it happens that people find out about taxes and fees already in the hotel. Be vigilant!

Emirate of Abu Dhabi

In the Emirate of Abu Dhabi: municipal tax - 4% (in 2018-2020 was reduced to 2%), service charge - 10%, VAT - 5%, tourism fees - 6% (in 2018-2020 was reduced to 3.5%).

"Tourism Dirham" - 15 dirhams per night (was reduced to 10 in 2018-2020). Does not depend on the stars of the hotel.

Rate (per bedroom per night)
Any hotel, villa, apartment 15 dirhams

Full room rate per night:

Municipal tax +4%
Service charge +10%
Tourism fee +6%
VAT +5% (from price), +5% (from service charge)
Tourism Dirham AED 15
Total Price + 25.5% + AED 15

In fact, tourists in Abu Dhabi pay a little more money. Some hotels add another tax for the travel industry, which actually does not affect tourists at all. If this goes on, other emirates will also follow this bad practice.



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Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah

In the emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah: municipal tax - 7%, service charge - 10%, VAT - 5%.

"Tourism Dirham" is exactly the same as in Dubai.

Rate (per bedroom per night)
5 Star Hotels, Deluxe Apartments AED 20
4 Stars, Superior Apartments AED 15
3 & 2 Stars, Ordinary Apartments AED 10
1 Star, Guest Houses, Hostels AED 7

Full price per night:

Municipal tax +7%
Service charge +10%
VAT +5% (from price), +5% (from service charge)
Tourism Dirham Depends on the stars, numbers above
Total Price + 22,5% + Tourism Dirham

Emirates of Ajman, Sharjah, Fujairah

In Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah emirates: 10% city tax, 10% service charge and VAT 5%.

Full price per night:

Municipal tax +10%
Service charge +10%
VAT +5% (from price), +5% (from service charge)
Tourism Dirham 0
Total Price +25.5%

Some hotels in these emirates include a municipal tax in the initial price of the stay. There are even hotels which include an additional service charge. So be on the lookout for cheaper hotels and compare prices!

Emirate of Umm Al Quwain

In the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain there is a 5% municipal tax, 10% service charge and VAT of 5%.

Full price per night:

Municipal tax +5%
Service charge +10%
VAT +5% (from price), +5% (from service charge)
Tourism Dirham 0
Total Price +20,5%

What else do you need to know?

- On what other current expenses await, read the page "How much money to take in the UAE".

Have a nice vacation in the UAE, we wish you an objective comparison of hotels and do not overpay. Read our useful for tourists pages about this country (see list of the pages below).

TIPS

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IMPORTANT FOR TOURISTS

What to Take for the UAE

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To the UAE with Kids

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Money in the UAE - Emirati Dirham

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