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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Abu Dhabi to slash fees for new economic licences starting December 1

Emirate approves exemption of local fees for 2 years from date of issuing licence

The Abu Dhabi Executive Council also approved a decision to cancel 75 municipality services fees and reduce the cost of 23 municipality fees by 10 to 50 per cent. Antonie Robertson/The National
The Abu Dhabi Executive Council also approved a decision to cancel 75 municipality services fees and reduce the cost of 23 municipality fees by 10 to 50 per cent. Antonie Robertson/The National

Abu Dhabi will exempt all businesses issued new economic licences by the emirate from local fees for two years as it boosts its competitiveness and looks to attract investors.

The resolutions will come into force starting December 1, UAE state news agency WAM reported.

The Abu Dhabi Executive Council also approved a decision to cancel 75 municipality services fees and reduce the cost of 23 municipality fees by 10 to 50 per cent, according to a tweet by Abu Dhabi's Office of Government Communication.

"These decisions come with the aim of 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," it said.

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The decision comes as part of a series of reforms under the "Ghadan 21" or Tomorrow 2021, a three-year Dh50 billion programme aimed at stimulating investment, creating jobs and boosting economic growth.

The UAE announced a series of new policies this year aimed at reforming the economy and reducing reliance on oil revenues. These include changes to the country’s sponsorship system and new regulations that permit companies to operate without a physical office. The Tomorrow 2021 plan has 50 initiatives to stimulate investment and job creation. It aims to slash red tape for businesses and boost investor confidence in the emirate’s economy.

The International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for the UAE's economic growth this year and next on expectations that oil production and government spending will increase.

The Gulf nation's economy is projected to expand 2.9 per cent this year and 3.7 per cent in 2019, the IMF said in October.