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Dubai family businesses seek VAT cut and government help to repatriate expat workers

Dubai family businesses seek VAT cut and government help to repatriate expat workers

Representatives of family businesses met with Dubai government officials last month

Family-owned businesses in Dubai have asked the government to adopt several measures to help companies struggling to weather the current crisis, including reducing value added tax and speeding up payments.

The meeting on April 21 between representatives of the companies and the emirate’s officials resulted in 14 recommendations summed up in a letter by the head of Dubai’s Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The letter, seen by Bloomberg, was confirmed by the chamber.

Firms asked Dubai’s government to:

* Reduce VAT to 2 per cent from 5 per cent or delay payments for 2020. Firms also asked that all VAT-related fines be forgiven to support liquidity

* Grant state-subsidised loans to small and medium enterprises hit by the shutdown

* Help subsidise some salaries of employees in companies hard-hit by the shutdown

* State help to fund the repatriation of workers, who lost their jobs, with firms repaying the state in installments over 12-24 months

* Cancel or reduce by 50 per cent the cost of trade-licence issuance or renewal in 2020

* Cut customs duties and utility costs by 50 per cent this year

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who is the chairman of Dubai’s Economic Development Committee, as well as the ruler’s son Sheikh Majid met with the group.

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