UAE governments launched 100 economic incentives in 45 days
20 Apr 2020
The number of economic incentives by UAE federal and emirate governments to help the national economy deal with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic have exceeded 100 in a span of just 45 days, according to the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority.
The measures range from subsidised utility bills to government fee waivers and rent concessions aimed at helping individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) withstand fluctuations in economic conditions.
They will start showing “positive outcomes during the second quarter of 2020”, the authority said in a statement carried by the state news agency Wam on Monday.
The UAE, the second-biggest Arab economy, was the first in the region to roll out Dh282bn in fiscal and monetary support, including a Dh256bn package for banks that provided zero-interest funding and freed up capital to boost lending growth in the country.
The Abu Dhabi government launched its own package of financial incentives in coordination with local banks and the emirate’s departments of Finance and Economic Development. The measures aim to provide individuals and SMEs with immediate support and reduce financing costs.
The Department of Finance earlier this week partnered with First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank to expand its SME Credit Guarantee Scheme. The government is guaranteeing up to 80 per cent of the value of loans extended to SMEs, a move that allows access to renewable financing options for working capital and term loans.
Other support measures in Abu Dhabi include Dh5bn to subsidise utility bills, Dh1bn for a new market making fund at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, deferring loans for three months, and halting evictions due to non-payment of rents.
In Dubai, the government has introduced economic incentives worth Dh1.5bn for three months and directed local banks to provide a comprehensive support package to clients affected by the pandemic.
In addition, the authorities pledged state aid for Emirates airline, reduced utility bills by 10 per cent for three months, and discounted insurance premiums by 50 per cent, and provided a package of measures for companies based in free zones.
Authorities in Sharjah have also launched measures to help some of the hardest hit sectors of its economy. In tourism, the emirate has exempted hotels from municipality fees for three months, reduced fees for various exhibitions and events in 2020 and granted a 50 per cent discount for shops and commercial centres participating in marketing campaigns. It has also allowed a 50 per cent rental reduction for three months for restaurants, currency exchanges, shops, banks, travel agencies, communication stores and car rental companies inside airports.
The governments of Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Qaiwain and Fujairah have followed economic measures adopted by the federal government and implemented a series of initiatives that include cuts in government fees, exemptions from rental payments and licence renewal fees and reductions in traffic fines.
Source: The National