Sharjah boosts economic stimulus to almost Dh1bn

Emirate will provide a further Dh512m of support for individuals and businesses by waiving or reducing fees in a variety of sectors

Sharjah announced a second economic stimulus package to fight the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Courtesy Sharjah Book Authority
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Sharjah rolled out a second stimulus package worth Dh512 million to help the economy cope with the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The package, which is being introduced following directives from Ruler of Sharjah Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, is the second to be implemented following an initial series of measures in the northern emirate valued at Dh481m, Sharjah News reported on Tuesday.

The latest measures are intended to "bolster continued development in various sectors and easing the severity of the economic and social impacts that the world is witnessing during this time due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic", it said.

The UAE reported 1,008 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, taking the total tally of infections to 136,149. Health officials also announced six deaths, pushing the total number of mortalities to 503. Authorities said 1,466 patients were cleared of the virus. So far, the country has recorded 133,490 recoveries.

Sharjah's latest measures include waiving, reducing or cancelling fees related to utilities, rent, business procedures, property, education, ports and shipping, small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), transportation and civil aviation.

Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa) will split utilities fees into instalments for economic, commercial and industrial establishments, allowing easy payments that could extend for two years.

Sharjah Municipality will reduce the fees for attesting residential lease contracts to 2 per cent, down from 4 per cent, until March 2021.

Sharjah Economic Development Department will continue exemptions for the renewal of licenses for economic establishments. It will offer a 50 per cent discount on issuing licences for industrial establishments and will exempt private nurseries from all government fees for a year.

In terms of property registration, the emirate will also halve buyer fees for non-GCC citizens to 2 per cent of the sale value. from 4 per cent previously.

Investors will be exempt from the rental value of investment land leasing until the end of March 2021.

Shipping authorities will reduce fees due on port operations by 20 per cent on handling, loading and unloading fees, associated fees and marine charges. They will also exempt all bulk goods from storage fees for a period of 90 days and will exempt all shipping and customs clearance companies from the bank guarantees required to carry out their activities. They will also offer discounts of 20 to 50 percent on new licenses, depending on the commercial activity.

Sharjah will also reduce licensing fees for travel agencies and tourism companies by 50 per cent until 2021, in a boon for the aviation industry that has been hard hit globally by the pandemic.