Just one of a number of key actions taken by Abu Dhabi Government to support business and economy.

The UAE has put together a plan to stimulate strategic investment sectors.

The country is pressing on with facilitating an environment that caters to attracting investment as it also proceeds with all approved capital expenditure and development projects, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said on Monday.

“I’ve given directives to continue with all approved capital expenditure and development projects in the emirate, and to take further measures to preserve Abu Dhabi’s economic gains, prioritising startups and SMEs,” Sheikh Mohamed said in a tweet on his official account.

“Our authorities will continue developing and easing the investment laws and regulations, making them more flexible to maintain our economic development,” he added. “We are confident in the resilience of our national economy & its ability to navigate market fluctuations.”

The latest measures follow the roll out of a Dh100 billion stimulus package by the Central Bank of the UAE this week, as the global economy faces its biggest challenge since the 2008 global financial crisis.

“Given that the World Health Organisation has declared Covid-19 virus as a global pandemic, the Central Bank of the UAE has adopted a number of measures in an effort to support the economy and protect consumers,” the regulator said on Saturday.The directives include:

  • Allocating Dh5 billion to subsidise water and electricity for citizens, and commercial and industrial activities.
  • Subsidising electricity connection fees for startups until the end of 2020.
  • Exempting all commercial and industrial activities from Tawtheeq fees for 2020.
  • Allocating Dh3bn to the SME credit guarantee scheme managed by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office to “stimulate financing by local banks and enhance SME’s ability to navigate the current market environment”.
  • Allocating Dh1bn to establish a market maker fund, to enhance liquidity and sustain balance between supply and demand for stocks.
  • Settling all approved government payables and invoices within 15 working days.
  • Suspending bid bonds and exempting startups of performance guarantees for projects up to Dh50 million.
  • Reducing industrial land leasing fees by 25 per cent on new contracts.
  • Suspending real estate registration fees for 2020.
  • Waiving current commercial and industrial penalties.
  • Exempting commercial vehicles from annual registration fees to the end of 2020.
  • Exempting all vehicles from traffic tariffs and road tolls to the end of 2020.
  • Suspending tourism and municipality fees for tourism & entertainment sectors for this year.
  • Offering up to 20% rebate on rental values for the restaurants and tourism and entertainment sectors.
  • Establishing a new committee headed by the Department of Finance, with members from the Department of Economic Development and local banks to review lending options to support local companies.

Originally published on The National on 16.03.2020

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