Several departments levy Knowledge Fee

DUBAI - The Dubai Courts Department began collecting the newly-introduced Dh10 Knowledge Fee from yesterday levying the charge on each application.

By Eman Al Baik

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Published: Sat 4 Jun 2005, 10:36 AM

Last updated: Mon 9 Jan 2023, 2:25 PM

So has the Dubai Municipality, but with exemptions in some cases.

Other departments like the Dubai Police and Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) are yet to work out mechanisms to implement the fee, which was announced recently by His Highness Shaikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, through a gazette notification.

Lieutenant-General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, addressing a meeting of police officials yesterday, asked them to come up with a mechanism for collecting the knowledge fee. The revenue generated would be deposited with the emirate’s Executive Council to support social and cultural development activities.

Brigadier Abdullah Hassan, Director of Finance and Administrative Affairs at DNRD, said his department had not received any directive to implement the decision. “Once we get the instructions from DNRD’s Director General, we will begin levying the fee,” he said.

Mohammed Abdul Kareem Julfar, Assistant Director-General of Dubai Municipality for Administrative and Financial Affairs, said his department had begun charging the fee from yesterday, but had exempted some transactions from the purview of the levy. “We studied the transactions in DM, and decided to exempt the fee for certain categories of transactions like sale of parking cards, fertilisers, plants and trees, since the value of the product is often less than Dh10.”


Reaction from the public on the imposition of the fee was mixed, with some stating that it would not be an additional burden given the benefits factor, while others maintained that it would be burden on those who were involved in frequent and large-scale dealings with government agencies. Most agreed that the new levy would encourage compliance with rules and regulations so as to avoid the extra burden levied over and above fines and penalties.

A national businessman, speaking on condition of anonymously, said he does not believe that the Dh10 additional fee levied on every transaction would be a financial burden on the general public or small businessmen.

“The additional fee may be a bit of a burden for big businessmen who, in any case, should contribute to social and cultural projects carried out by the government including setting up of schools and constructing housing units. This is nothing compared to the magnitude of benefits these businessmen reap from the government,” he said.

“The Dubai Government must have introduced this fee keeping in mind that the private sector seldom lends support to such projects. Social initiatives taken by a handful of businessmen does not meet the actual needs of society,” he added.

Agreeing with him, Adel Al Zarouni, a national employee with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, pointed out that partnership between the government and the private sector was essential to execute government plans, particularly on the social and cultural level.

Paying Dh10 for each transaction to supplement the Executive Council’s budget is an nominal amount compared to the quality of service given by the Dubai government and its Executive Council, the 32-year-old Adel, who himself has family commitments, said, adding that it definitely would not be a burden.

Aleem Sayed, an Indian working in the private sector, said: “From my short experience in Dubai, I understand the emirate gives back to the residents much more than the little it takes. The fee in question is definitely going to make people cringe, but in the long run, the same money would probably come back as a service or a part of infrastructure, benefiting us all. For business establishments, this is an insignificant amount, even given the fact that the volume of transactions they have with various government departments is high. The most affected would be individuals, who will feel the pinch every time they deal with a department. It would have been a great idea if certain transactions were targeted, but either ways the amount involved is indeed small. I think it should be mandatory for companies to pay this fees in transactions involving workers.”

Extra burden

The fee will definitely affect low income groups like teachers and nurses, who find it difficult to make both ends meet, what with sky-rocketing rents and high cost of living, Khitam Mohammed, a Palestinian who works as a teacher in Dubai school and earns Dh2750, said.

“Because of the crazy increase in prices, school fees and high medical costs, I find it difficult to pay for a visit visa for my parents,” said another teacher.

“This fee will be in addition to Dh10 Internet service fee being charged by typing offices for processing the application via Internet, the Dh10 typing fee and the Dh10 fee imposed twice by the bank on the Dh2,000 refundable guarantee, a prerequisite for issue of visa,” she said.

Jamal Ali Saif Salem, employee at Dubai Courts, pleaded with the government to stop imposing any new fee in the light of increasing cost of living. “The low-income nationals and expatriates cannot afford any further financial burdens. On the contrary, the government has to think of ways to stop and reduce inflation,” he said, adding that if the government needs the business sector to contribute to the budget, some other mechanism needs to be worked out without affecting the general public.

Reducing violations

“The new fee which also covers all types of violations will definitely prompt low income groups to comply with rules and regulations to avoid paying the extra fee,” believes Moza Abdul Rahman, an employee. “This segment of society has always been cautious not to commit violations of traffic rules or municipal regulations because they cannot afford paying more. Many of my colleagues say they do not delay registration of their cars mainly to avoid payment of extra fees,” she said.

Ahmed Abdulrahman Al Janahi, Director of Fisheries at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, said that payment of an extra Dh10 fee on government transactions will not pinch him if he knows the money has been used for the development and progress of Dubai.

“Dubai is progressing at a fast pace and there are certain areas that need financial investments and if we nationals can contribute in our own little ways, it is a good feeling. However, the levying of these charges may not have come at a very good time with already escalating cost of living. Our salaries have increased by 25 per cent, but that is not enough if we have to cough up fees on various transactions and services now, making things difficult for nationals in many ways,” Al Janahi said.

Amin Rajwani, Business Development Manager, said, “Although I’m a firm believer of enhancing cultural activities in the UAE, imposing an additional fees of Dh10 is not the answer. The cost of living in Dubai is skyrocketing and the common man is already burdened with innumerable other expenses. The government should look into other avenues through which the money for cultural and educational activities can be raised. People can donate money on their own accord or other fund raising activities can be devised to achieve this purpose. Anything that is imposed is not fair.”

Vikram Menghnani, Vice President of Seven Star Events and Productions, said, “I really don’t mind paying the additional fees as long as I know where my money is going. As far as I can seen, there is a lot of ambiguity regarding this new rule as it hasn’t been specified as to where and how the money will be utilized. If it’s for charity, then paying an extra Dh10 would not be too much but this has to be clarified beforehand.”

Riaz Hussain, a Pakistani banker, said, “The new fee will affect low-income group of people like us who are devising means to tackle the already increasing cost of living in the UAE. Take for example, processing a visa at the Dubai Naturalisation Department, we pay Dh10 for almost everything. Charges for typists, and software producers as well as Empost make it an expensive affair. An additional Dh10 will make a big difference.”

Mena Ali, an Egyptian expatriate, said, “I don’t understand the real need of imposing an additional burden on people every month. people are already suffering from the high cost of living in UAE and they hardly manage to save a penny. The Dh10 extra charge would have been received well by people if a parallel increase in salaries was also made. Paying Dh10 per transaction can be nothing for some people who earn chunks of money per month but it will adversely affect those who are in the low income group. I think paying Dh10 for each government transaction is totally unfair as people are already struggling with the high cost of living and cannot bear any additional financial burden levied on them.”

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