Dubai extended the five-year licence fee exemption given to Emirati members of Dubai SME to seven years as part of its series of initiatives aimed at supporting entrepreneurs to overcome economic challenges stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The decision, applicable under Article No (10) of Law No (23) of 2009, will enable businesses to focus on their growth without cash flow concerns, as well as create new opportunities for SMEs.
“Creating an exceptionally competitive and flexible landscape for SMEs is an integral element of the vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, to raise the city’s status as a global hub for entrepreneurial innovation, while also consolidating our rich entrepreneurial traditions into a catalyst for economic diversification and sustainable economic growth,” Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, said.
The SME sector constitutes more than 94 per cent of the companies operating in the UAE, providing jobs for more than 86 per cent of the private sector's workforce, data from the Ministry of Economy shows.
In Dubai alone, SMEs make up nearly 95 per cent of the companies operating in the emirate, employing 42 per cent of the workforce and contributing about 40 per cent to Dubai's gross domestic product.
The licensing fee applicable on SMEs was Dh1,000 for the first three years from the issuance of the licence, and Dh2,000 for the fourth and fifth years.
"Dubai has already announced five stimulus packages worth Dh7.1 billion in the aftermath of Covid-19 and the outcomes have been phenomenal in terms of the emirate resuming full-scale economic activity while also enhancing its business competitiveness and investment attractiveness," said Abdulrahman Al Saleh, director general of Dubai's Department of Finance.
Since 2002, Dubai SME has supported 10,803 members with incentives and relief measures worth more than Dh995 million.