x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Ajman halves cost of business licences to tackle downturn

Municipality officials say the cost of trading licences has been halved to maintain investment in the emirate.

AJMAN // The cost of trading licences has been halved to maintain investment in the emirate, municipality officials said yesterday. The move was announced by the Ajman Directorate of Planning and Municipality during a public session. "We don't want to see any decline in the investments and progress of Ajman," said Majid Nasser al Suwaidi, head of the Municipality's administration and inspection department.

"The municipality board recommended that registration fees be reduced to create a more conducive environment for investors." Mr al Suwaidi said more discounts on other services were on the way, but did not elaborate. It was disclosed that 2,321 licences were issued in the first half of the year, although the Department of Licensing did not provide comparative figures. The session was attended by business people who have lobbied for the relaxation of rules governing registration, licence renewal and the collection of fines to lessen the impact the economic downturn.

Khalid al Hosni, the director of environment and health, told the meeting that Ajman had issued a manual on safety and environmental standards to which companies registering in the emirate must adhere. "The municipality inspectors have to see every new business that is opening or renewing its licence to give a go-ahead," he said. "In cases of any violations, that company cannot register." Mr al Hosni said there had not been any cases of food poisoning at outlets in Ajman this year, which he put down to rigid standards.

The open sessions, held every two months, were started last year in an effort to promote interaction, transparency and official accountability. ykakande@thenational.ae