In the effort to ease cost of doing business in the UAE and to enhance interest by foreign investors, the UAE has reduced fees from 50% to 94% in certain ministries, specifically employment related costs.
As of 1st July 2019 the UAE cabinet issued a decision to lower or cancel fees on 1,500 federal services. This measure is aimed at ensuring fees are comparable to international best practices.
The decision comes as part of many other reforms to help attract foreign investors, create jobs and establish the UAE as a global business hub. Recently, the UAE has permitted 100% foreign ownership of businesses in 13 different sectors, including, manufacturing and renewable energy. In addition, SME’s have been offered small incentives and visa restrictions have been eased – these moves are to diversify the economy away from oil and tourism.
The recent announcement concerning fee reduction or cancellation effects the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. The Ministry of Human Resources includes many services including; work permits, employment contracts and training permits plus many more. The new fee structure is currently being implemented through service centres – Tas’heel, Tadbeer, Tawafuq and Tawjeeh. Below is a list of new fees for work permits in all categories:
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has explained that the revised costs for issuing new work permits is in line with a new classification system based on workers skill level. To enhance the push for Emiratisation within the private sector, the ministry will continue to exempt work permit fees for Emirati or a GCC national employees. By reducing operational costs of businesses regarding labour and recruitment, the UAE hopes to promote the country to interest new investors and support entrepreneurship. Other fees which have been officially released include; two-year work permit issuance; two-year work permit renewal; two-year work permit issuance for those sponsored by parents; two-year employee transfer permit:
Ministry of Economy fees reduction
In addition, the Ministry of Economy (MOE) has announced new fee structures for around 110 services as part of Cabinet Resolution 51 of 2019. According to the Ministry of Economy’s official website many service fees will be reduced by 50 percent.
Amongst the changes the registration and renewal of Trademarks for Foreign Companies has been cut to from AED 10,000 to AED 6,700, fees for Agent and Appointed Representative disputes have been reduced from AED 12,000 to AED 8,040.
In addition the registration fee for Foreign Branches has been reduced from AED 15,000 to AED 10,050, the fees for publishing official announcements by foreign private joint stock companies has been cut from AED 20,000 to AED 10,000 and the fee of sale or merger of foreign companies has been cut from AED 15,000 to AED 10,050.
Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri the Minister of Economy, said that the latest amendments will provide a boost to the business community in the country as the cost of conducting trade and investment activities will drop for both Emiratis and resident business owners, including large, medium and small enterprises. The latest move comes within a series of policies and resolutions decided by the federal and local governments to stimulate and strengthen economic growth, provide new incentives to increase the attractiveness of the local business climate, generate more job opportunities and promote the UAE as a favoured investment destination which supports economic growth and advances UAE rankings on the global competitive indexes.
Al Mansouri emphasised the ministry’s keen desire to create a business-friendly environment where private sector companies can grow and flourish.
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