SEDD Immune from Global Downturn on Strategy and Low Fees

SHARJAH - The financial crisis has engulfed the whole world, yet to affect the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD), which has recently seen large projects, basically due to the emirate’s strategic location and low licensing fees.

By Staff Report

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Published: Mon 12 Jan 2009, 12:57 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:14 AM

Member of the Sharjah Executive Council and Director General of the SEDD Ali Salem Al Mahmoud said on Thursday while answering the queries of the member of the Sharjah Consultative Council.

“The department has been ready for the financial crisis by organising forum that presented Islamic banking as a better alternative for bribery-based banking earlier to the turmoil. The event saw the participation of a number of Islamic banks and institutions,” he said.

He said that a seminar was held for the department’s employees to develop their awareness about the financial storm.

Fliers and brochures were also distributed to the public to enlighten them about the crunch.

Elaborating, Al Mahmoud said Sharjah was seeing massive property projects, including the Emirates Industrial City, Stars Islands, Emirates Investment Centre and Sharjah Medical City.

“A media city is even set to be established in Sharjah soon. An extensive natural gas net is also to be laid in the Eastern Region” he said.

He further said that the department was also witnessing a six-month restructuring process by the Talal Abu Ghazala Consultative Company.

The department, in an endeavour to avoid routine, ease customers’ suffering and expedite procedures, has effectively established a comprehensive building that contain branches for 10 government departments at Al Khan area.

These include branches for the notary public, Ministry of Economy, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Empost, Bank and Etisalat.

“All the department services are offered at one place. More space is provided for both employees and applicants.

The department has also adopted the concept of comprehensive employee who is able to finish the transaction applied for in just ten minutes,” he maintained.

“Though its GDP has increased from Dh30 billion in 2004 to Dh68 billion in 2007, the department is planning to encourage electronic investment, particularly as a drop in prices is expected this year,” he said.

Meanwhile, any project posing risk to the environment shall never be permitted.

All projects are first submitted to the Municipality Environment Section to check investor’s compliance with rules.

The Licencing Section then issues the trading licence, and regular inspections are paid to projects’ sites.

“The Emergency Inspection Committee founded two years back plays another control role. The department is to open another section for monitoring trading signboards in line with the emirate’s civilised image. The department has sought help from a specialised consultative council to lay the conditions of these boards,” he disclosed.

No licence may be issued — for the time being, to new gas company other than the three operating ones.

“These are bound to pay certain deposit for cylinders maintenance, and there will be a problem with a new company.”

· ahmedshaaban@khaleejtimes.com


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