Extension of freeze on govt fees reflects Dubai’s farsightedness

Sheikh Hamdan said extending the freeze will help raise the resilience of Dubai’s businesses.

Published: Tue 9 Mar 2021, 11:49 PM

Dubai’s decision to extend a freeze on government fees for another two years will go a long way in boosting confidence among the small and medium investors as well as large corporates. The decision not to introduce new fees, except when introducing “new vital services” will further boost social stability, increase competitiveness and impove confidence of businesses, entrepreneurs and investors in the emirate. On the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, ordered the extension of the freeze on Dubai government fees till early 2023.

Sheikh Hamdan said extending the freeze will help raise the resilience of Dubai’s businesses and ease any financial challenges they may have due to the prevailing situation. In order to support the private sector and combat the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the emirate’s government has announced measures worth Dh7.1 billion for the past one year. The investor-friendly initiatives that the Dubai government launched early last year following the outbreak of the pandemic have paid off with recovery in progress and the jobs sector stabilising. Barring the travel and tourism industry, almost all the other sectors have either been stabilising or steadily recovering over the last few months. As the latest data from the IHS Markit Dubai Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the month of February revealed, business conditions in Dubai continued to strengthen last month with output and employment numbers increasing amid growing confidence among firms for a strong economic recovery in 2021. “The successful roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines in Dubai gave firms’ increased optimism for growth in business activity over the coming 12 months,” says David Owen, economist at IHS Markit.

The latest supportive measures will accelerate the pace of economic recovery and also reduce the cost of doing business, providing a breathing space to companies, especially in the small and medium enterprises which need support from the public sector to beat the pandemic. Economists believe that the new initiative shows that the government is now thinking beyond Expo 2020 Dubai. “This is yet another great decision by the Dubai government, reflecting that the government’s supportive and investor-friendly initiatives will continue even beyond Expo 2020. The Expo will end on March 31, 2022, but investors and businesses will continue to benefit from these supportive measures till early 2023,” said an economist. Moreover, rising oil prices, which are hovering close to $70 a barrel, and an aggressive Covid-19 vaccination drive are also brightening the outlook of the economy for the remainder of 2021 and 2022.

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