Dubai extends freeze on government fees until 2023

The freeze on government fees was first revealed in 2018 to improve the emirate's economic competitiveness

Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Courtesy Dubai Media Office
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Dubai has extended a three-year freeze currently in place on fees charged for certain government services until 2023, according to an executive order issued by the emirate's Crown Prince.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed announced the move under directives from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

The extension of the freeze will help boost Dubai's competitiveness and improve the confidence of businesses.

"It also seeks to strengthen Dubai’s ability to adapt to changing market realities, accelerate the pace of recovery and boost sustainable development," the Dubai Media Office said in a statement on Tuesday.

Sheikh Hamdan said the move will increase "the resilience of Dubai’s businesses and eases any financial challenges they may have due to the prevailing situation".

Dubai first halted all fee increases for certain government services in 2018 in an effort to increase the emirate's competitiveness. The emirate has also introduced various support measures to help the economy emerge stronger following the coronavirus outbreak.

The commercial and tourism hub of the Middle East has also provided stimulus packages worth Dh6.8 billion ($1.85bn) to cushion the impact of the pandemic.

Apart from the extension of the freeze, the government said no new fees will be imposed, except in the case of the introduction of new vital services.

Dubai's economy is forecast to expand 4 per cent in 2021 due to its effective response to Covid-19, according to official projections released in December.

The emirate's economy is already showing green shoots of recovery as operating conditions for business improve due to its vaccine campaign.

Dubai’s non-oil private sector economy edged up in February, with the seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Dubai Purchasing Managers' Index rising to 50.9 in February from 50.6 in January. A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion, while below points to contraction.