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Dubai is targeting $136m in support of coronavirus-hit businesses

Crown Prince Hamdan Bin Mohammed said on Saturday that Dubai plans to provide AED500 million ($136 million) in assistance to businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis.

According to the prince, the package, which will consist of rent breaks and the exclusion of government fees and penalties for certain firms, will carry overall government funding to AED6.8 billion ($1.85bn).

The Emirate is considered to be the centre of business in the Middle East and has been hit hard by Covid-19, which relies on trade and tourism. "We are committed to supporting the business sector and working together to counter the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The business sector is at the centre of our economy. We are committed to reviving the business climate and opening up new horizons for entrepreneurs and investors in line with Dubai's future aspirations," said Sheik Hamdan.

Sheik Hamdan approved a three-month extension of some of the measures announced in the previous stimulus package to assist the private sector in dealing with the effects of the pandemic by the end of 2020. This include the extension of the freeze on market charges imposed on all sectors in Dubai until the end of 2020. Exemptions from docking charges at Dubai Port and Hamriya Port for conventional commercial vessels registered locally in the UAE (including direct and indirect loading charges) will also be extended.

The bank or cash guarantee amounting to AED50,000 required for customs clearance activities will continue to be waived and the bank and cash guarantees paid by customs clearance companies will be refunded. In addition, tariffs on customs documents will continue to be reduced from AED50 to AED5 on each transaction and the requirement to use a banking instrument for the submission of customs claims will continue to be waived.

In the travel, entertainment and event market, the moratorium on fees paid for hotel reviews, ticket sales, licencing and other government fees for entertainment and business events has been extended until the end of 2020. The freezing of government authorization fees will also be extended until the end of November 2020 for the retail sector.

The cancellation of all fines for late payment of government service charges and fees for renewal of commercial licences has also been extended. In addition, commercial licences can be extended without the need to extend lease contracts. The 25% down payment condition for the payment of government fees in installments would also be cancelled by the end of 2020.

The municipality's sales tax for hotel establishments will be set at 7% and the 'Tourism Dirham Fee' will be reinstated, where hotel establishments and restaurants will be refunded 50% of the fee by the end of 2020. The plan to waive all deferral and cancellation fees for all leisure and sporting activities, including exhibitions and conferences, will be extended.

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Posted on :11/12/2020