In a major relief to businesses in Dubai, the government has decided to exempt companies from all fines and they can benefit from this decision and renew their licences by the end of 2018.
Sami Al Qamzi, director-general, Department of Economic Development in Dubai, urged all business owners to benefit from the decision, which exempts companies and establishments operating in Dubai from all the fines imposed on them, and facilitate the procedures for renewing licenses by the end of 2018.
“This will add to the financial benefits of the owners of expired business licenses, restore legal records and licenses, and help the business community in Dubai enhance their competitiveness,” he said.
The business community in Dubai hailed the decision as it will bring back small businesses who were out of the business due to different fines. It will stimulate economic activity and also increase competitiveness of the emirate.
Suresh Kumar, president, the Indian Business and Professional Council, welcomed the move, saying the recent measures such as 100 per cent foreign ownership, 10-year visas, waiving of VAT on gold and jewellery and conference and exhibitions sectors, all these are in the same direction of improving cost of doing business and making the emirate more competitive.
“First of all, Dubai is ahead of all the GCC cities and it needs to stay competitive in cost of doing business and ease of doing business. Dubai Executive Council, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and various other government entities study these measures and outcome of research reports. The announcement of exemption of fines is part of that strategy,” he said.
“More importantly, certain licences which were renewed not on time or for non-compliance issues, the exemption of fines shows that government wants to ensure that these businesses come back into the fold and restart the activity,” he added. Ahmed Shaikhani, president, Pakistan Business Council, Dubai, said this decision by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to exempt fines is a step in the right direction and it will increase business activity in the emirate.
“Economic activity in Dubai will improve. All those companies which were not functioning and couldn’t renew their licences due to fines, will now come back into fold and generate more economic activity in the emirate,” Shaikhani said.
He pointed out that Pakistani and other Asian expatriates are largely involved in small businesses so even normal fines sometimes are big enough for them that they can’t operate in an efficient manner.
“Because the small businesses can’t repay fines, their visas go into pending and then there will be labour issues too; so all these are chain of a business. But once the fines are waived, these small businesses will be able operate in a smooth and efficient manner, generating more revenues for the government and fresh jobs in the emirate,” he added.
According to Dubai Statistics Centre, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for 95 per cent of the total enterprise population in Dubai and employ around 42 per cent Dubai’s workforce. SMEs contribute around 40 per cent to Dubai’s GDP. While micro firms account for 72 per cent of total business count in Dubai.