Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Gulf Today, Business Bureau
Following the directions of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, and follow-up from Sheikh Mohammed Bin Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah, Chairman of the Executive Council, the Government of Ras Al Khaimah has announced the launch of a comprehensive integrated stimulus and incentive package.
Introduced in line with the ongoing efforts announced by the UAE aimed at easing the financial burden in the Emirate during the ongoing Covid-19 situation, the package forms part of Ras Al Khaimah’s continuous efforts to help private-sector companies face the challenges presented by the current coronavirus pandemic and to ensure continuity of business in all sectors.
Covering every sector involved in economic activities, including tourism, government services, environment and SMEs, the package was developed in cooperation with all concerned entities, with each entity creating the measurements that suit the nature of the companies they deal with.
The package of initiatives highlights the coordinated approach taken by local government entities and free zones in Ras Al Khaimah to alleviate hardship, including the Municipality Department, Department of Economic Development, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), Ras Al Khaimah Chamber of Commerce, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, the Environment Protection and Development Authority and the General Resources Authority in Ras Al Khaimah. All the bodies have agreed on three levels of support: payment exemptions, postponement of fees and the provision of consultancy and assistance. One of the most notable incentives introduced by RAK government agencies is a 25% exemption on fees for renewing commercial licenses that were closed as per circulars issued by government agencies, as well as for any sectors affected by the crisis, provided they meet the terms and conditions set by the Department of Economic Development in Ras Al Khaimah.
“We are eager to implement the directions of the prudent leadership, which aims to ensure ongoing support to companies operating across Ras Al Khaimah. This stimulus package forms part of our commitment to enhancing partnership between the public and private sectors, which is a central pillar in empowering and developing our national economy in the United Arab Emirates and in Ras Al Khaimah. The current circumstances compel us to act in unison and create practical strategies to deal efficiently with this situation and to prepare ourselves to make the most of available opportunities in the post-Covid-19 period,” said Dr Mohamed Abdullatif Khalifa, Secretary General of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.
The measures taken by the Department of Economic Development in Ras Al Khaimah include extending the license renewal period for 60 days from the date of expiry. In addition, business establishments will be allowed to operate around the clock for three months and be exempt from marketing permit fees for two months during this year, in case the current situation ends. Hotels, resorts and all tourism activities will also be exempt from commercial registration during the closing period.
Ras Al Khaimah Municipality Department has exempted tenants in markets (owned by the Municipality) from rental fees for three months, including barbershops, beauty salons and shops in Nakheel market. It has also exempted advertising companies from rental fees for three months and companies from the monthly installment fees of municipal rental documentation for the commercial sector for one year from the license renewal date. It has also waived permit fees for outdoor area occupancy for roads and public facilities and reduced fees for issuing health insurance cards.
The Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah has launched an unprecedented initiative reflecting its ecological mandate and desire to establish a culture of environmental focus in the Emirate. The initiative includes replacing the payment of fines for environmental violations incurred before March 31 this year with the planting of trees. In addition, fees incurred by industrial establishments that pay less than Dhs50,000 annually will be reduced by 25% for the period April 1 to December 31, while annual fees from industrial establishments that pay more than Dhs50,000 annually to the authority (such as crushers and cement factories) for April 1 to December 31, 2020 will be deferred for a period of one year.
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