An Introduction to VAT

When the six member states of the GCC – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates – signed a VAT Framework Agreement in early 2017, they confirmed a new phase in the region’s economic development.

On January 1, 2018, both Saudi Arabia and the UAE became the first GCC Member States to implement the new VAT regime.

As one of Saudi Arabia’s largest and most respected businesses, Abdul Latif Jameel has been preparing its people, systems and processes for this change, and also assisting our suppliers and business partners to be ready for a smooth implementation.

Abdul Latif Jameel is comprised of diversified businesses with over 70 years of heritage and deep roots in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey (MENAT) region. Strong networks and long-established relationships make us a powerful partner, opening doors for those who want to do business in the region.

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VAT in Detail

Value Added Taxation, or ‘VAT’ is a form of indirect tax and is levied on the supply of goods and services over the whole value chain from production to distribution, and is eventually passed to, and paid by, the final end-use consumer of those goods and services.

It is collected in a multi-staged process on the ‘value added’ at each stage throughout the supply, or value, chain from raw materials to final products or services at retail


As a quick reference guide, some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the implementation of VAT in Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been collated here. These will be added to as the practicalities of the implementation proceeds and new, and useful, information becomes available.

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Glossary of Terms

With the implementation of VAT, there will undoubtedly be the introduction of many new concepts and technical terms. To help you gain a basic understanding of some of these, we are providing a Glossary of some of the major new terms here.

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