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Sheikh Hamdan unveils new Dhs500m stimulus package for Dubai

Sheikh Hamdan unveils new Dhs500m stimulus package for Dubai

The overall value of economic support provided by the emirate in 2020 has risen to Dhs6.8bn

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Dubai

Dubai announced a fresh Dhs500m economic stimulus package on Saturday, October 24, to support businesses weather the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, taking the overall value of economic support provided by the emirate’s government in 2020 up to Dhs6.8bn.

The package, unveiled by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council, include new stimulus measures such as rent reduction for nurseries as well as an extension of previous stimulus initiatives such as a waiver on penalties related to government registration until the end of 2020.

New initiatives
Advertising companies affected by the pandemic will be exempted from Dubai Municipality’s advertising permit fees for three months, retroactive from March 15 to June 16, 2020, reported news state agency WAM.

In a bid to support private nurseries in Dubai, many of which were closed for extended periods as a result of the pandemic, will be exempt from renewal fees of their commercial licence, extending the licences of existing clinics operating within these nurseries.

The licenses of health professionals working in nurseries will also be extended for six months from the date of expiry of the licence.

Nurseries located on land owned by the Knowledge Fund Establishment will be eligible for a 50 per cent reduction in rent until the end of 2020.

Another new stimulus initiative was introduced to support the taxi service sector by adjusting the government fees to increase liquidity for operators.

Extension of measures announced in previous stimulus packages
Apart from the new initiatives, the government also announced that it would extend the validity of a few initiatives announced in previous stimulus packages for three months until the end of 2020 to support the private sector.

These include extending the freeze on market fees levied on all sectors in Dubai until the end of 2020.

Traditional commercial vessels registered locally in the UAE will be exempted from docking fees at Dubai Port and Hamriya Port (including direct and indirect loading fees).

The Dhs50,000 bank or cash guarantee required to conduct customs clearance activity will also continue to be waived, and bank and cash guarantees paid by customs clearance companies will be refunded.

Fees on customs documents will remain reduced from Dhs50 to Dhs5 for each transaction, and the requirement for providing a banking instrument when submitting customs-related grievances will remain cancelled too.

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 2020.

The freeze on government permit fees for the retail sector will be also be extended until the end of November 2020.

The decision to cancel all fines charged for late payment of government service fees and payments of penalties to renew commercial licences has been extended too.

Commercial licences can be renewed without the mandatory renewal of lease contracts. The 25 per cent down payment required for paying government fees in installments will remain suspended until the end of this year.

Other measures that will stay in place until the end of 2020 include an initiative to abolish fines, exempt private schools from commercial and educational licence renewal fees, extend the period of temporary entry of loaned artworks through Dubai ports, to include all works of art that entered the emirate from the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2019 and have still not exited the emirate.

To support the local tourism sector, the government said that the municipality fee on hotel establishments’ sales will be set at 7 per cent and the ‘Tourism Dirham Fee’ will be restored, where hotel establishments and restaurants will be refunded 50 per cent of the fee until the end of 2020.

The initiative to waive all deferral and cancellation fees for all recreational and sporting events, including exhibitions and conferences, has also now been extended.

“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,” tweeted Sheikh Hamdan.

“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.”

Dubai announced its first stimulus package valued at Dhs1.5bn on March 12, followed by another Dhs3.3bn package on March 29 and a third one worth Dhs1.5bn on July 11.

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