Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, in partnership with other government entities, cut business set-up fees by 94 per cent to Dh1,000 as the emirate seeks to increase its competitiveness and attract more investors.
The new fees are applicable to six activities within the business licence and will cover all fees from Abu Dhabi government entities such as Added, the Department of Municipalities and Transport, membership fees for Abu Dhabi Chamber, CoC (Certificate of Conformity) issuance fee and charges required by Abu Dhabi regulating entities dependent on the type of business.
Licence renewal fees have also been reduced to Dh1,000, the agency said.
“We hope this significant change in fee structure helps to further ease the set-up process for new and existing investors," said Mohammed Al Shorafa, chairman of Added.
"Our goal for Abu Dhabi, as part of our new economic strategy, is to create a thriving business environment that encourages growth and innovation. Ease of starting and managing a business is a key lever, and we strongly believe the restructuring of fees will help us achieve this goal.”
Abu Dhabi has taken various measures, including providing rent rebates, discounts on utility bills and loan guarantee packages, to support businesses and stimulate economic growth in the past year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, it detailed a plan to stimulate economic growth through strategic investments and 16 initiatives to support the private sector.
The latest move to introduce a fixed fee will increase transparency and reduce administration for investors while creating a favourable environment for the SMEs, Added said.
The new fees will be effective from July 27, 2021 but all federal fees will continue to apply, the statement said.
Abu Dhabi's economy is expected to grow by between 6 per cent and 8 per cent over the next two years, driven by government spending, financial services and foreign direct investment, Mr Al Shorafa said earlier this year.
The emirate plans to focus on specific sectors in which government entities can partner with private companies "to enhance their growth and increase their contribution to the emirate’s gross domestic product”, he said in April.