Tourists shopping in London can now receive instant cash VAT refunds

Kanoo, one of the largest independent, family owned group of companies in the Gulf Region and Premier Tax Free, Europe’s major Tax Free Shopping provider, today announced that they have further extended their downtown VAT refund partnership to include the United Kingdom. Available initially from within two Kanoo Foreign Exchange branches located in the Haymarket (near Sofitel London Heathrow) and Knightsbridge areas of London, this new service allows international tourists to receive their VAT refunds in cash with real ease and efficiency.

Thanks to the collaboration between Kanoo Foreign Exchange Services and Premier Tax Free, tourists visiting London can receive an instant VAT refund from one of two city centre branches on the day of purchase prior to going to airport customs.

“Following the successful launch of our expanded VAT refund service within the prestigious Printemps Department Store in Paris earlier this summer, it made perfect sense to extend similar facilities to those visiting London. Until now, most customers have had to obtain their cash refunds at the airport, adding to the time spent there. Kanoo and Premier Tax Free aim to make Tax Free Shopping all that more enjoyable and easy, by offering refunds in cash at city centre locations. Our aim is that customers will spend more of their time enjoying shopping and visiting London, rather than additional time at airports” explains Nabeel Kanoo, Senior General Manager of Kanoo Travel.

The Kanoo Foreign Exchange branches in the Haymarket and Knightsbridge are conveniently located close to the main tourist and shopping areas of London, including the well known luxury department store Harvey Nicols. In addition, Kanoo offers a full foreign exchange service enabling tourists to receive their refund in the currency of their choice.


The Tax Free Shopping concept allows non-European residents to pay less for purchases made within the European Union. UK legislation stipulates that tourists must spend more than £30 in one store and on the same day, in order to become eligible for a VAT refund. They then receive a VAT refund voucher at the point of sale and are required to present their goods to customs upon leaving the EU. With VAT currently at 17.5% in the United Kingdom and due to increase to 20% in 2011, this equates to significant savings for visitors from the GCC, Middle East, North Africa and beyond. Premier Tax Free offers tax free shopping in partnership with over 10,000 luxury retail outlets throughout the U.K. and over 3,000 in London alone.

Kanoo and Premier Tax Free plan to further extend this service to customers next summer, to include new cities and new refund destinations in the Middle East.

For more information on how to shop tax free and details of your nearest Kanoo branches in the U.K. visit www.kanootravel.co.uk, for France www.kanoofes.fr, www.kanootravel.com for all your travel requirements or www.premiertaxfree.com

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