July 2, 2024

VAT on Commercial Property in the UAE

VAT on Commercial Property in the UAE

The UAE's taxation landscape, particularly regarding VAT, is intricate but essential for businesses to navigate effectively. At Finanshels, we recognize the importance of understanding VAT on commercial property in the UAE. Whether you're a small business owner or a large corporation, grasping the nuances of VAT registration in Dubai can significantly impact your financial performance.

Understanding Commercial Property

Commercial property, also known as commercial real estate or investment property, encompasses land or buildings used for business purposes to generate profit. This profit can stem from rental income or an increase in the property’s value (capital gains) when sold. In the UAE, the sale and lease of commercial properties are subject to VAT, which requires careful attention to detail.

VAT on Commercial Property Sales in the UAE

The sale of commercial property in the UAE is subject to the standard Value Added Tax (VAT) rate of 5%. This applies to the total consideration received by the seller, including any installments. Commercial buildings in the UAE exceeding a purchase value of AED 5 million are considered capital assets for VAT purposes.

When is VAT Applicable?

VAT is applicable on commercial property transactions when:

  • Selling or leasing commercial property.
  • Undertaking real estate development projects.
  • Sub-leasing commercial spaces.

The primary responsibility for charging VAT lies with the seller or lessor, who must ensure VAT is correctly applied and collected.

Who Pays VAT on Commercial Property?

The seller of the commercial property is responsible for charging VAT to the buyer on the sale price. The seller must then account for this VAT to the Federal Tax Authority (FTA).

VAT on Commercial Property Leases

The lease of commercial property in the UAE is subject to VAT at the standard rate of 5%. This applies to the total rent paid by the tenant to the landlord. The landlord must register for VAT if the value of their taxable supplies exceeds the mandatory registration threshold of AED 375,000. Notably, the lease of residential properties is generally exempt from VAT, meaning no VAT is charged on the rent paid for residential units.

VAT Registration in Dubai

To comply with VAT regulations, businesses engaged in commercial property transactions must register for VAT. Here’s a detailed overview of the VAT registration process in Dubai:

1. Assess Your VAT Registration Requirement

VAT registration is mandatory if your taxable supplies and imports exceed AED 375,000 in the last 12 months or are expected to exceed that amount in the next 30 days.

2. Prepare Documentation

Gather the necessary documents for VAT registration, which typically include:

- Trade license

- Emirates ID and passport copies of the owner(s) or authorized signatories

- Proof of address for the business premises

- Details of shareholders/partners

- Bank account details

3. Create an e-Services Account

Visit the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) website (https://tax.gov.ae/en/services/vat.registration.aspx) and create an e-Services account. This account will be used for all VAT-related transactions.

4. Register for VAT

Once logged in, locate the “Register for VAT” option on the e-Services portal. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the online VAT registration form. The form will ask for details about your business, including:

- Business name and legal structure

- Contact information

- Trade license details (if applicable)

- Expected taxable supplies

You may need to upload supporting documents like trade licenses and financial statements.

5. Payment and Processing

There might be a registration fee associated with VAT registration. Pay the fee if applicable using the available online payment methods. The FTA will review your application and supporting documents, typically taking around 30 days.

6. Receive Notification and Use Your TRN

Upon approval, you’ll receive a notification from the FTA and your Tax Registration Number (TRN). This TRN is crucial for all future VAT-related transactions, including filing VAT returns and issuing VAT invoices.

Benefits of VAT Registration

Registering for VAT brings several advantages, particularly for businesses involved in commercial property transactions:

- Input Tax Recovery: Registered businesses can reclaim the VAT paid on business expenses, including purchases and services related to commercial property.

- Compliance and Avoiding Penalties: Proper VAT registration and compliance help avoid hefty penalties and fines imposed by the FTA.

- Enhanced Credibility: VAT registration can enhance your business's credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of clients and partners.

VAT Services by Finanshels

Navigating the VAT registration process in Dubai can be daunting, especially for small businesses. At Finanshels, we offer comprehensive VAT registration services in Dubai, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Our VAT registration service in Dubai covers:

- Determining your eligibility and guiding you through the registration process.

- Assisting with document preparation and submission.

- Providing ongoing support for VAT compliance and reporting.

Why Choose Finanshels?

1. Expertise: Our team of VAT specialists possesses in-depth knowledge of UAE VAT laws and regulations.

2. Personalized Service: We tailor our services to meet the unique needs of your business, ensuring optimal compliance and efficiency.

3. Efficiency: We streamline the Dubai registration process for VAT, saving you time and resources.


Understanding and complying with VAT regulations on commercial property in the UAE is crucial for business success. Whether you need assistance with VAT registration in Dubai or ongoing VAT management, Finanshels is here to help. Our expertise and commitment to excellence make us your ideal partner in navigating the complex VAT landscape.

Contact us today to learn more about our VAT registration services and how we can support your business in Dubai.

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