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Sale and lease of both commercial and residential properties in designated zones will be outside the scope of VAT, according to the latest clarification issued by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) at a meeting with a group of tax consultants in the UAE. "Sale or lease of any real estate property - commercial or residential - will be considered as outside the scope of VAT. Hence, there will be no VAT applicable on sale or lease of commercial or residential real estate properties in designated zones. Furthermore, the payment of five per cent VAT on purchase of commercial property in non-designated zones can be made directly by the buyer to FTA and the commercial property will get legally transferred to the buyer's name once he has made VAT payment to FTA," said Mayank Sawhney, director, MaxGrowth Consulting. Earlier this month, the FTA announced 20 designated zones across the UAE with seven in Dubai; three each in Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah; two each in Sharjah, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain and one in Ajman. Those designated zones are Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai Aviation City, Dubai Textile City and Dubai Cars and Automotive Zone in Dubai; Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone, Khalifa Industrial Zone and Free Trade Zone of Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi; Hamriyah Free Zone and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone in Sharjah; Ajman Free Zone in Ajman; Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone in Umm Al Quwain; RAK Free Trade Zone, RAK Maritime City Free Zone and RAK Airport Free Zone in Ras Al Khaimah; and Fujairah Free Zone and Fujairah Oil Industry Zone in Fujairah.