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Abu Dhabi reveals new initiatives such as toll waivers, fee cuts to support economy

Abu Dhabi reveals new initiatives such as toll waivers, fee cuts to support economy

All vehicles will be exempt from paying road tolls until the end of 2020

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The Abu Dhabi government has announced a massive stimulus package aimed at shoring up the economy and supporting businesses, it was announced on Monday.

The Abu Dhabi Executive Council has announced 15 new initiatives under its Ghadan 21 scheme – all of which will be implemented immediately. They include electricity and water subsidies, measures for SMEs and exemptions and fee reductions to support businesses while reducing cost of living.

“I’ve discussed with officials in Abu Dhabi the current economic and business climate…The existing stimulus programmes in Abu Dhabi and those launched recently by the Central Bank and local governments are the solid pillars that will support and protect the UAE’s economic stability,” Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said on Twitter.

“I’ve given directives to continue with all approved capital expenditure and development projects in the emirate, and to take further measures to preserve Abu Dhabi’s economic gains, prioritising startups and SMEs.

“Our authorities will continue developing and easing the investment laws and regulations, making them more flexible to maintain our economic development. We are confident in the resilience of our national economy and its ability to navigate market fluctuations,” he added.

Also read: UAE Central Bank announces Dhs100bn package to counter Covid-19

The initiatives include:

* Allocating Dhs5bn to subsidise water and electricity for citizens, and commercial and industrial activities

* Subsidising electricity connection fees for startups until the end of this year

* Exempting all commercial and industrial activities from Tawtheeq fees this year

* Allocating Dhs3bn to the SME credit guarantee scheme managed by Abu Dhabi Investment Office to stimulate financing by local banks and enhance SME’s ability to navigate the current market environment

* Allocating Dhs1bn to establish a market maker fund, to enhance liquidity and sustain balance between supply and demand for stocks

* Settling all approved government payables and invoices within 15 working days

* Suspending bid bonds and exempting startups of performance guarantees for projects up to Dhs50m

* Reducing industrial land leasing fees by 25 per cent on new contracts

* Suspending real estate registrations fees for this year

* Waiving current commercial and industrial penalties

* Exempting commercial vehicles from annual registration fees to the end of 2020

* Exempting all vehicles from traffic tariff from road tolls to the end of 2020

* Suspending tourism and municipality fees for tourism and entertainment sectors for this year

* Offering up to 20 per cent rebate on rental values for the restaurants and tourism and entertainment sectors

* Establishing a new committee headed by the Department of Finance, with members from the Department of Economic Development and local banks to review lending options to support local companies

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