Sharjah follows Dubai with Dh35 exit tax at the airport
SHARJAH // A Dh35 exit fee will be levied on passengers leaving Sharjah airport, following in the footsteps of Dubai Airports’ move last week.
Sharjah’s Deputy Ruler, Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi, approved the fee during a meeting of the emirate’s Executive Council on Tuesday.
Dubai said on March 30 that, on flights leaving its airports from June 30 onwards, it would start charging the exit fee in a move that would help to fund infrastructure and expansion plans.
Now Sharjah International Airport, which is home to budget airline Air Arabia, will follow suit.
For both emirates, however, flight crews, transit passengers and children under two years of age will be exempt.
The Sharjah fee is being levied for the use of the airport facilities and services, a statement said.
Some Sharjah airport users on Tuesday expressed their dismay at the new fee.
“We use Sharjah airport for its budget airline and if you add Dh35 to a family of six or seven individuals, the bill adds up and becomes cumbersome for us,” said Amani Raed, a 37-year-old Syrian mother of three.
Pakistani Ghafar Mohammed, who works for a construction company in Ajman, said: “My salary is Dh1,200, and every dirham I save goes to my family back home. So for purchasing a ticket to go back to my country every couple of years, the new fee is not welcome, but low-income workers don’t have any other option but to pay it.”
Other residents, however, said the fee was justifiable – if it went to developing the airport and enhancing its services.
“If the fee goes to enhancing the airport services, then that’s good for passengers in the long run. The airport is small and maybe there are plans to expand it,” said Emirati Mohammed Al Mazmi, a 47-year-old businessman.
Ahmad Radwan, a 32-year-old sales manager, said: “It will not make much difference to singles or married couples – the fee can be compared to a meal in a fast-food restaurant or a couple of cups of coffee.”
The details of when the new fee will start being collected and the mechanism of how it will be collected were not announced.
Updated: April 5, 2016 04:00 AM