Dubai stimulus to ease cost of living

Dubai stimulus to ease cost of living
The move to exempt firms from penalties and trade violations is aimed to ensure continued business growth.

dubai - Measures will fuel economic growth and improve the business environment



by

Issac John

Published: Thu 7 Jun 2018, 6:20 PM

Last updated: Thu 7 Jun 2018, 8:22 PM

The latest series of stimulus initiatives, including the reduction and cancellation of some government fees, which Dubai unveiled on Wednesday has been well-timed and will go a long way in fuelling economic growth and improving the business environment, corporate leaders said.

The move, part of a landmark stimulus package announced in April by Dubai to enhance the attractiveness of the emirate's investment eco-system and reduce the cost of doing business, came at a critical juncture when the cost of living and doing business has become a cause of concern for average expatriates and SMEs, businessmen and analysts said.

"Through these newly announced moves, including a one-year freeze on school fee hike, waiver of some fees on aviation and real estate transactions, and cutting charges levied on businesses, Dubai expects to further enhance its appeal as a sought-after business and residential destinations," they said.

Welcoming the Executive Council's move to curb rising costs in Dubai, Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director, Aster DM Healthcare, said there has been a significant impact on the life of the common man as well as profitability of businesses due to the increase in various expenses in the last five years.

"Healthcare is perhaps the only area where there has not been an increase because the prices are capped by the Dubai Health Authority. In fact, healthcare providers in the emirate are affected by the huge discounts extracted from them by insurance companies and the delay in payments when mandatory insurance rolled out.

"We have requested the authorities to put a cap on the discounts claimed by insurance companies to reduce the cost. I wholeheartedly support the measures taken by the Executive Council in giving a stimulus to business growth through cost containment," said Dr Moopen.

The latest measures, along with the recent Federal Government announcement of 10-year visas for investors and professionals as well as the Dh50 billion stimulus package unveiled by Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, will reinvigorate businesses and investors.

The initiative to exempt companies from penalties and trade violations is aimed to ensure continued business growth and reduce the financial burden on businesses.

As per the decision of the Executive Council, Dubai has waived fees on 19 business activities related to the aviation industry and airplane landing with a view to attracting more than Dh1 billion in aviation sector investments. The move aims to make Dubai a global hub in the aviation industry in line with Dubai Plan 2021 and Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030. The government is halving the market rate, a municipal charge on businesses, to 2.5 per cent and waiving a four per cent fee for delayed property registration.

Another stimulus package is expected in the next phase to target the strategic sectors of Dubai's economy, informed sources said.

According to a research note from Emirates NBD, the new measures should offer some relief for businesses across all sectors as well as provide a boost to the key transport and logistics sector. "The measures were broader in scope than we had expected following the instructions to reduce the cost of doing business in the emirate and take steps to accelerate economic growth," the bank said.

- issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com


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