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Dubai government boosts economic stimulus

The Dubai government announced a further Dh1.5 billion worth of economic stimulus measures, bringing the total support given to businesses during the pandemic to Dh6.3bn. The government will extend the reduction of municipality fees paid by hoteliers and restaurants on sales to 3.5 per cent, from 7 per cent, for the remainder of 2020. It will also continue to halve the ‘Tourism Dirham Fee’ charged on hotel stays.

Dubai Developments Group extends rental holiday for business tenants, Dubai gears up to attract tourists and residents in the summer, Dubai Municipality is also expediting payments to contractors and is returning performance bonds usually set aside until work is completed.

Fees charged to private schools for licence renewals are also being waived until the end of the year, customs clearance deposits are being reimbursed and some fines imposed by customs authorities are being cut by 80 per cent.

Dubai’s economy has faced headwinds as a number of industries including tourism, trade and real estate slowed after restrictions on movements were put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Economy activity is now picking up as Dubai welcomed tourists back in July.

Dubai rolled out its first wave of economic stimulus measures aimed at supporting companies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in March with a package of nine incentives for an initial three-month period. These included a freeze on the 2.5 per cent market fees for all facilities operating in Dubai, a refund of 20 per cent on customs fees imposed on imported products sold locally and a 10 per cent cut to water and electricity bills.

In a statement, Sheikh Hamdan also highlighted the “great strategic value” of Dubai’s small and medium-sized enterprises, which account for more than 99 per cent of businesses in Dubai, providing 51 per cent of the emirate’s jobs and 46 per cent of its gross domestic product, according to a 2019 study by Dubai SME, part of the Dubai government’s Department of Economic Development.

Also the  Dubai Free Zones Council is considering plans to extend its stimulus package to support companies operating within the city’s free zones.

Patrizia Marin

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