Your business is VAT-exempt if you are trading VAT-exempt supplies only, or if you are not engaged in taxable ‘business activities’. For example, rents in Dubai for residential units are included in real estate transactions that are exempt from VAT.

VAT exempt transactions include basic necessities such as local passenger transport, books, lending activities, agricultural products, and tuition fees. Financial services, including life insurance and reinsurance of life insurance, financial services that are not performed for an explicit fee, discount, commission, rebate or similar type of consideration, and residential buildings (other than the zero-rated ones), and bare land also are included in the list of VAT-exempt businesses.