Dubai government fees will not be hiked over the next three years.
The move is in line with the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, announced the order on Sunday.
“Following the directives of @HHShkMohd, we have issued an order to freeze Dubai Government public services fees for the next three years," Shaikh Hamdan said on Twitter on Sunday.
Following the directives of @HHShkMohd, we have issued an order to freeze Dubai Government public services fees for the next three years— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) March 4, 2018
Shaikh Hamdan said the decision seeks to promote the social stability of citizens and the consequent positive effects on all segments of society.
The move is aimed at promoting Dubai’s economic competitiveness, enhancing social stability and boosting investments in Dubai.
“This a very positive development that will increase business and consumer confidence in the country,” said Dr Mohammad Al Asoomi, a UAE economic expert and specialist in economic and social development in the UAE and the GCC countries.
"The decision has come as a reassurance to both investors and consumers that there are no further increase in government fees. This will enhance investor confidence," Dr Al Asoomi added.
Dubai’s decision to freeze government fees follows the Federal government decision to stop all fee increases on February 28 with the objective of promoting economic and social stability, as well as support the industrial and commercial sectors.
The move, which aims to support the social stability of citizens, will have a positive ripple effect on all segments of society— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) March 4, 2018
Monica Malik, Chief Economist of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, said: “The move to freeze government fees for the next three years is likely aimed at supporting economic activity, especially in the context of recent reforms namely the introduction of value added tax in the country.
"These reforms and VAT have strengthened the fiscal position, reducing the need for further measures," she added.
The directives will also boost Dubai's economic competitiveness and reinforce the government's continuous efforts to ensure social and economic security— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) March 4, 2018
Economists said the decision points to fiscal stability in the country and longer-term view on government revenues is seen as a sign of economic stability.
“It is a very welcome move that will cheer investors,” said Dr Nasser Saidi, Founder and President of Nasser Saidi & Associates and Former Chief Economist and Head of External Relations at the DIFC Authority.
'It comes after a period of a much-needed fiscal adjustment process in the context of low oil prices that saw an increase in cost of doing business. The decision of stop government fee increases for a reasonably long period will rein in costs," said Dr Saidi.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Institute of International Finance (IIF), in their most recent assessment of the UAE economy, have said the economy has stabilized from the impact of low oil prices over the past three years.
Growth is expected to pick up momentum from 2018 and the government can ease its fiscal adjustment programme that involved revenue augmentation and cuts in spending.
“The UAE can afford a more gradual pace of fiscal adjustment to reduce the impact of lower oil prices on economic growth. We expect the fiscal consolidation in Abu Dhabi to ease this year, while Dubai’s fiscal stance (spending) remains expansionary,” said Garbis Iradian, Chief Economist, MENA of IIF.