VAT or Value Added Tax is a form of consumption tax that is imposed on a transnational level. The GCC has agreed to apply a uniform standard rate of 5%. This standard rate will apply to almost all domestic transactions. UAE and KSA will implement VAT on 1 January 2018, and the other GCC countries are expected to implement in the following 12 months.
In limited instances VAT can also apply at 0% (zero-rate), or transactions can be exempt from VAT, or out of scope.
How it works is that taxable businesses are generally able to recover the VAT they incur on their purchases and expenses.
However, as individuals, we are the final point of the supply chain and therefore, will bear the cost as we are not able to recover the VAT.