Coronavirus: Dubai reveals Dhs1.5bn stimulus package to support businesses
As published in Gulf Business
By Aarti Nagraj
Package includes cancellation of some fees, reduction in utility bills for three months
Dubai has unveiled a stimulus package worth Dhs1.5bn to support businesses in the emirate to help counter the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said the three-month economic stimulus package seeks to enhance liquidity in the market by reducing certain fees.
The package includes 15 initiatives focused on the commercial sector, retail, external trade, tourism, and the energy sector. The measures will be introduced with immediate effect and will be valid for the next three months. Following this period, the impact of the measures on the economic situation will be reviewed, a statement said.
Some of the initiatives that apply to all citizens and residents include –
* 10 per cent reduction in water and electricity bills including those charged in the residential, commercial and industrial sector
* 50 per cent reduction in deposit paid for water and electricity connections
For the commercial and business sector, the Dubai government has introduced initiatives including –
* Freeze on the 2.5 per cent market fees levied on all facilities. The fees was reduced from 5 per cent to 2.5 per cent in June 2018
* Refund of 20 per cent on the custom fees imposed on imported products sold locally in Dubai markets
* Cancellation of the Dhs50,000 bank guarantee or cash required to undertake customs clearance activity. Also, bank guarantee or cash paid by existing customs clearance companies will be refunded
* Fees imposed on submitting customs documents of companies will be reduced by 90 per cent
For boosting external trade, some of the stimulus measures include –
* The requirement for providing a banking instrument while submitting customs-related grievances has been cancelled
* Traditional wooden commercial vessels registered in the country will be exempted from mooring service fees for arrival and departure, as well as direct and indirect loading fees at Dubai Harbour and Hamriyah Port
Some of the initiatives focussed on local businesses include –
* Cancellation of the 25 per cent down payment required for installment-based payment of government fees for obtaining and renewing licences. The move seeks to reduce the financial burden on SMEs
* Commercial licences can be renewed without mandatory renewal of lease contracts
* Companies will be exempt from permits for new sales and offers
Measures targeting the tourism sector include –
* Reduction of municipality fees imposed on sales at hotels from 7 per cent to 3.5 per cent. In 2018, the fees was reduced from 10 per cent to 7 per cent
* Companies exempt from fees charged for postponement and cancellation of tourism and sports events scheduled for the year 2020.
* Fees for the rating of hotels has been suspended
* Freeze on fees charged for the sale of tickets, issuance of permits and other government fees related to entertainment and business events
“The world is going through difficult times but we have the capability to navigate challenges successfully,” said Sheikh Hamdan.
“We are extending this stimulus package to ensure we can realise our ambitious development objectives by defusing any obstacle that can hinder our progress.
“We are continuing our efforts to become a major player in shaping the future of the world,” he added.
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