Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 12 December 2019

UAE to slash or waive fees for 1,500 business services

Decision aimed at attracting more foreign investment, UAE Cabinet says

A previous UAE Cabinet meeting held at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Wam
A previous UAE Cabinet meeting held at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Wam

The UAE Cabinet on Tuesday said it would further waive or reduce fees levied on businesses for government services, as part of a strategy to attract more foreign investment.

“[The cabinet] adopts a decision to amend and waive fees for a number of federal services within the framework of the government’s effort to enhance the national economy, reduce costs to business owners and increase the UAE’s competitiveness,” the cabinet said in a tweet on Tuesday afternoon.

The move involves the reduction or cancellation of fees for more than 1,500 government services provided by the UAE Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, according to the tweet. But the cabinet gave no further details on which fees are to be changed.

Over the past 12 months, the UAE has taken measures to strengthen its economy and further boost the private sector to mitigate against lower oil revenues.

Last year, Abu Dhabi’s government announced a Dh50 billion economic stimulus - known as Ghadan 21 - and the country has implemented reforms to help diversify the economy and encourage the creation of new businesses, including lowering business registration fees.

The decision aims to “promote foreign investments and make the UAE a distinctive destination for investments, by reducing administrative costs and fees and stabilising the business environment”, a statement in Arabic on the UAE’s state news agency Wam said.

So-called "onshore" companies in the UAE – those registered outside free trade zones – which had been fined by Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation for failing to comply with labour regulations, were told they could apply for exemption from the fines, according to a paper from immigration consultancy Fragomen this month.

Updated: May 28, 2019 07:25 PM

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