Abu Dhabi to exempt all new economic licences from local fees for two years

Municipality fees for 98 services will also be cancelled or reduced



All new economic licenses issued in Abu Dhabi will be exempt from local fees for two years from the date of their issuance, according to a new resolution approved by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

The council also approved another decision to cancel the fees for 75 basic services in Abu Dhabi municipalities and cut the cost of a further 23 municipality fees by 10 to 50 per cent.

The resolutions will take effect from December 1, official news agency WAM reported.

The decisions are aimed at “bolstering the competitiveness of the business environment and improving it in a way that attracts companies and institutions and developing the partnership with the private sector”, officials said.

They are part of reforms under the Abu Dhabi government’s “Ghadan 21” programme, which was unveiled by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in September.

The three-year Dhs50bn ($13.6bn) programme includes plans to create 10,000 Emirati jobs, ease business licence requirements, support investment and speed up contract payments.

Read: Abu Dhabi crown prince approves Dhs50bn in economic stimulus

In September, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development (DED) also issued two resolutions designed to reduce costs for businesses in the emirate.

The first decision changes the calculation mechanism for ‘billboard fees’, reducing the renewal costs for all economic licences to a fixed rate of Dhs200.

The DED has also exempted new licences, be they in the commercial, industrial, professional, craft, construction or other sectors, from fees charged by the Centre of Waste Management and the need to obtain a no objection certificate for the first year.

Read more: Abu Dhabi cuts business setup, licencing fees

Cuts to tourism and municipality fees were also announced for hotels in June.

Read: Abu Dhabi cuts tourism and municipality fees at hotels

The UAE economy is expected to recover gradually this year with the International Monetary Fund projecting that GDP growth will rise from 0.8 per cent in 2017 to 2.9 in 2018 and 3.7 in 2019.

Read more: IMF says GCC economies to recover strongly in 2019