EXPO 2020

The following is a summary of the major compliances and requirements issued by the Organizer for all the Participants:

1. Licensing and Registration:

  1. To commence operations, the participant should obtain the Expo 2020 Trade License, Customs code, and Tax Registration Number
  2. Participants will be required to provide the Organizer with a complete product catalog to enable the integration with systems

2. Conduct of Commercial Activities

  1. Participants who wish to utilize their pavilion for commercial activities must use no more than 20% of their total covered exhibition space.
  2. Participants must only conduct commercial activities within their approved, dedicated commercial space. Transferring or conducting commercial activities outside the assigned space is not allowed.
  3. Participants are allowed to set up a staff break area or canteen in their back-of-house area to offer food and beverages to their staff. These spaces do not count towards 20% of the exhibition space that is permitted for commercial activities.
  4. Participants are prohibited from commercially selling tobacco products and shisha, and from commercially selling alcohol outside the licensed areas.
  5. In addition to retail products, participants are also able to produce food and beverage products as well as goods for marketing and promotional purposes, compliant with guidelines set by Organizer
  6. Obtain relevant insurances, such as Operational Public and Product Liability Insurance, before commencing their operations on the Expo site.
  7. The Organiser, along with the relevant authorities, will conduct site inspections of the participants’ commercial facilities to ensure that these are operating in compliance with the laws and regulations of Dubai. An Operation Fitness Certificate will be issued to the participants following a successful final site inspection allowing the opening of the pavilion to the public

3. Logistics and Customs

  1. Participants are required to comply with the guidelines established by the Organizer regarding the logistics and customs operation related to their commercial activities, including import, customs clearance, storage, transport, duty and tax payment, delivery to the Expo site, and export of goods.
  2. The Organizer has partnered with UPS logistics for warehousing services and participants wishing to utilize the Official logistics Partner, must inform the partner at least 90 calendar days in advance of the arrival of their goods

4. Branding

  1. Participants may incorporate their approved logo, country flag, core messaging, and creative elements not only into their pavilion but also into their range of products and packaging, if applicable.
  2. Participants must not use the logo of Expo 2020 Dubai or the composite logos for products made available for sale as part of their commercial activities unless they obtain approval from the Organizer
  3. Participants must display the price of the goods and services that they offer including additional or incorporated taxes. All prices must be displayed in Emirati dirham (AED), the national currency of the UAE.
  4. Participants must ensure that their marketing and promotional materials are compliant with the Brand Guidelines and must submit all their marketing and promotional materials to the Organiser at least 10 working days before its use or launch to the public. 
  5. Participants must not use the names or visual representations of other countries, regions, or cities as well as other similar assets in their materials without the consent of the Organiser and the relevant Section Commissioner-General. 

5. Revenue System

  1. The Organiser will provide the participants, at no cost, with a centrally linked, plug-and-play, point-of-sale (POS) system, called retail-in-a-box POS system
  2. In accordance with Special Regulation No. 9, participants must use the retail-in-a-box POS system and comply with the integration requirements for an online store capturing the sales income from their commercial activities. 
  3. The retail-in-a-box POS system will comply with the VAT requirements of the UAE, producing a VAT receipt or invoice for customers
  4. Participants are required to enter into a separate contract with Network International in line with the Organizers measure to ensure the same negotiated fee and costs to all participants.

6. Royalties

  1. Pursuant to Special Regulation No. 9 and the Participation Contract, participants must pay royalties to the Organiser for the exercise of their commercial activities. 
  2. Royalties will be calculated at an agreed percentage of gross revenues, excluding taxes, generated from the participants’ commercial activities. 
  3. As defined in Special Regulation No. 9, the royalty rate is as follows:
    1.  Sale of food and beverages: 8% of gross revenue (excluding taxes)
    2.  Sale of goods: 10% of gross revenue (excluding taxes)
  4. The sales reports, which are automatically generated by the "Retail-in-a-box POS" system, will provide product information, the unit price of each product, the volume of each product sold, sales value generated by the sale of each product, and gross revenue (excluding taxes) that will be used to calculate the royalty due.
  5. Participants have two options for royalty payments, either through payments of the invoice from the organizer on a weekly basis or via a direct debit system (DDS) that will be managed by Emirates NBD on behalf of the Organizer. 
  6. The use of DDS delivers an efficient solution for both the participants and the organizer. The benefits of using DDS include Reduction in the physical movement and coordination of royalty payments, Reduction in banking charges, Secure and convenient solution to ensure that royalty payments are made on time.
  7. To register for the direct debit service, participants must fill out a DDS Mandate form and submit it to Emirates NBD at least 30 working days before the delivery of their retail-in-a-box POS system. 
  8. The royalty due will be paid by direct debit, 5 working days after the date of the invoice, transferring the invoiced amount from a participant’s bank account to that of the Organiser. Any disputes need to be resolved during the period between the date of the invoice and the settlement of the direct debit payment. The Organiser will issue a receipt of payment and a monthly statement of account for the participants’ records.

7. Supporting Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

  1. Building on Expo 2020 Dubai’s values of cooperation and collaboration, the Organiser encourages the participants to support the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their home countries by patronizing their own locally made products for use in their commercial activities during the Expo event.
  2. Participants should, where possible, source products that are manufactured by SMEs in their home countries. Alternatively, participants can source suppliers or manufacturers globally from the Online Marketplace.

8. One-Stop-Shop

  1. One-Stop-Shop to provide full support to the participants. The One-Stop-Shop is a virtual and physical entity that has been set up as a single body to process and respond to all submissions and requests from participants through the Participant Portal.
  2. The One-Stop-Shop provides the participants with useful links and information to guide them in conducting their commercial activities on the Expo site.

9. Reporting

  1. Participants must record and report their sales proceeds daily in a standard method determined and within the deadline established by the Organizer. 
  2. Detailed revenue reports pertaining to their commercial activities have to be provided on request and cooperate with any required audits. 
  3. Over the 173 days of the Expo event, the participants ’ sales will typically be reconciled weekly, generating invoices and processing the payment of royalties owed to the Organiser.

10. After the Conclusion of the Expo Event

  1. After the conclusion of the Expo event, participants may sell the exhibits and materials that they have used during the event, including their unsold merchandise. Participants are not obliged to pay royalties from such sales. If sold by a participant, these items will be subject to applicable customs duties and taxes.
  2. These items will be subject to the completion of import procedures and payment of applicable taxes in accordance with the laws and regulations of the UAE.
  3. In order for Customs to calculate the duties owning, participants must provide a monthly stock reconciliation outlining the volume of merchandise that entered the UAE as part of the original shipment, what was sold, and what is being returned to the country of origin. Duties will be payable on merchandise sold. For further details, see the Logistics and Customs Guide.
  4.  A full account reconciliation will be prepared by the Organizer to confirm any outstanding royalty and to close the account.

Emirates Chartered Accountants can support you by providing the following services,
ensuring compliance with the Laws of the land and requirements of the Organizer:

  1. Guidance on compliance with Duties and applicable Taxes
  2. Support in filing relevant declarations with Customs and Tax Authorities
  3. Accounting the commercial activities during Expo – recording sales, purchases and related expenses, royalty payments, preparation of Reports
  4. Weekly Reconciliation of Sales Revenue
  5. Monthly Stock Reconciliation
  6. Reconciliation of Sales with Organizer records
  7. Reconciliation of Customs Records with Inventory
  8. Support for Customs Duty Calculation
  9. Assistance in the Refund claim
  10. Support in preparation of reports required by Statutory Authority and Organizer
  11. Support and guidance during the audit on commercial activity
  12. Guidance in developing Strategies and forecast sales


With more than 15 years of experience in the UAE in the fields of company services, Accounting, Audit, Taxation, and Business Advisory, Emirates Chartered Accountants Group assures you of professional services to change your dream into reality.

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