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“The private sector is a major partner in Dubai's continued progress. We have now approved a fresh set of fee exemptions and rent reductions for some sectors, as well as an extension on the validity of a previous set of fee exemptions,” Sheikh Hamdan said. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Another stimulus package of Dh500 million has been announced in Dubai to support the local economy, taking Dubai's total stimulus measures this year to Dh6.8 billion.

Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, announced the package, affirming that the flexibility of Dubai’s economy has enabled it to adapt to the changes imposed by the new reality.

“Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, we announce a Dh500 million stimulus package to support the local economy, bringing the total worth of stimulus packages announced this year to Dh6.8 billion,” Sheikh Hamdan tweeted.

“We realise the pandemic has imposed great challenges on several business sectors at a global level, and our goal is to fully overcome these challenges locally and accelerate recovery to establish a new phase of economic growth,” he said.

“The private sector is a major partner in Dubai's continued progress. We have now approved a fresh set of fee exemptions and rent reductions for some sectors, as well as an extension on the validity of a previous set of fee exemptions,” Sheikh Hamdan said.

“We are working as a single integrated entity, and our primary goal is to accelerate the pace of recovery, protect the economy and cross these exceptional conditions with confidence in preparation for the next stage. The current situation requires consistent work plans to support all economic sectors and help them maintain their business continuity, especially the small and medium-sized enterprises, and other strategic sectors. We want to create a more flexible economic environment to easily adapt to global changes,” Sheikh Hamdan said.

Under the new stimulus package, advertising companies affected by COVID-19 have been exempted from advertising permit fees imposed by Dubai Municipality for a period of three months with a retroactive effect, from March 15 to June 16.

Sheikh Hamdan also approved a set of initiatives to exempt private nurseries operating in the emirate from commercial license renewal fees, extend licences for clinics existing in nurseries, and extend licences for health professionals working in nursery clinics for a period of six months from the date of the licence expiration.

Dubai economy stimulus package details
Image Credit: Twitter

Nurseries operating in premises belonging to the Knowledge Fund Establishment will also have their rents reduced by 50 per cent until the end of the current year. The Crown Prince of Dubai also endorsed an initiative to support the taxi sector by amending the mechanism of calculating the franchise fees to enhance the financial liquidity of operating companies.

The current stimulus package also extends the validity of some of the initiatives announced in the previous stimulus package for an additional three months until the end of this year as part of support extended to the private sector in recovering from the crisis. These include the freeze on the 2.5 per cent market fee and cancellation of all fines charged for late payment of government service fees (such as accumulated fines charged for delays in renewing business licenses). Payment of penalties will not be required to renew commercial licenses during this period.

Furthermore, commercial licenses can be renewed without the mandatory renewal of lease contracts. The 25 per cent down payment requirement for paying government fees in instalments will also be cancelled. In addition, businesses are exempted from fees for sales and special offers.

The Dh50,000 bank or cash guarantee required to conduct customs clearance activity will continue to be waived, and bank and cash guarantees paid by customs clearance companies will be refunded. Also, the fees on customs documents will continue to be reduced from Dh50 to Dh5 for each transaction, and processing of customs complaints will be accelerated.

In the tourism, entertainment and events sector, the freeze on fees charged for hotel rating, ticket sales, issuing permits and other government fees related to entertainment and business events has been extended until the end of this year.

In the education sector, private schools will be exempted from commercial and educational license renewal fees until the end of the year.

The temporary entry permits obtained by art exhibitions for artworks loaned from institution outside Dubai will be extended until the end of 2020. These include artworks that have entered Dubai in the fourth quarter of 2019 and have since remained in the emirate.

In the tourism and entertainment sector, it has been decided to extend the initiative launched to refund hotel establishments and restaurants 50% of the 7% municipality fees charged on sales will be extended for the period from July to December 2020. In addition, the ‘Tourism Dirham Fee’ has been halved until the end of the year.

In the international trade sector, exemptions for traditional commercial vessels registered locally in the UAE from docking fees at Dubai Port and Hamriya Port (include direct and indirect loading fees) will be extended.