Abu Dhabi: The latest decision by the UAE cabinet to abolish fees for more than 1,500 government services will have a positive impact on the economy, experts told Gulf News.
The UAE cabinet on Tuesday decided to amend and waive fees for more than 1,500 government services provided by the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Economy, and the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, according to a statement on WAM.
“The UAE government is well aware of the challenges that are facing the country, especially the private sector, and is working hard to enhance the business environment and create new opportunities,” said Tariq Qaqish, managing director of asset management at Menacorp Finance.
UAE businesses welcome [the] cabinet decision of the government to reduce fees for a number of federal services. Initiatives of this nature along with other measures like provision of long-term visas and permanent residence will have a positive impact on UAE as an investment destination.
“We do believe there will be a positive impact on the economy in the long term, bringing in more foreign direct investments that are sustainable [and which] will definitely be an added value.”
A top business group also welcomed the decision.
“UAE businesses welcome [the] cabinet decision of the government to reduce fees for a number of federal services. Initiatives of this nature along with other measures like provision of long-term visas and permanent residence will have a positive impact on UAE as an investment destination,” said Padmanabha Acharya, president of Indian Business and Professional Group.
“We await further details on the amount of actual reductions and waivers so that the benefits can be fully quantified.”
The comments come as the UAE government takes a number of measures to boost the economy. Apart from the reduction and cancellation of fees, the UAE government also introduced an investment law last year to boost the economy.
A top official from the Ministry of Economy recently told Gulf News that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into the UAE are expected to jump to $15 billion (Dh55.1 billion) per annum by 2021 due to the new investment law.
The UAE government is well aware of the challenges that are facing the country, especially the private sector, and is working hard to enhance the business environment and create new opportunities.
“The investment law has already come in 2018 and a FDI committee has been formed. Very soon within few months, the sectors which have been opened for 100 per cent foreign investment will be available,” said Mohammad Al Shehhi, undersecretary of ministry of economy.
The World Bank, on the other hand, predicts that the UAE’s economy will grow at a rate of 2.6 per cent in 2019, jumping to 3 per cent in 2020 due to investments in infrastructure projects ahead of Expo 2020 Dubai as well as the government’s stimulus plans. By 2021, the economy is forecast to reach 3.2 per cent.
The Abu Dhabi Executive Council also approved a resolution to exempt all new economic licences issued in the emirate from all local fees for two years. A decision reducing the fees of 98 basic services charged by the Abu Dhabi Municipalities on the private sector was also taken to encourage investments in the emirate.
The two resolutions are part of the Abu Dhabi Government Accelerators Programme, also known as ‘Ghadan 21’, which aims to enhance the competitiveness of Abu Dhabi in the business, investment, society, knowledge innovation and lifestyle sectors. The government is spending Dh50 billion under the Ghadan 21 programme.
The Department of Tourism in Abu Dhabi also reduced tourism fees from 6 per cent to 3.5 per cent and municipal fees from 4 per cent to 2 per cent.
The municipality hotel room fee per night has also been brought down from Dh15 to Dh10. The fee will be waived for long-term guests staying for more than one month.