Dubai offers Dh72m fee exemption to SMEs

1m200 SMEs will not pay more than Dh1000 licencing fee per year

Dubai: Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, yesterday announced that it is offering its members a fee exemption of more than Dh72 million.

Small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) will not be charged more than a Dh1000 annually during the first three years of business in Dubai,” Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said.

This move seeks to encourage SMEs to focus on growing their enterprises without cost concerns.

“With the discounted fee, we are offering another wide window of opportunity for our SME members. Entrepreneurs can now launch their business with confidence, knowing that government fees will not be burden on their business plan or operations,” Al Janahi said.

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This initiative will help Dubai SME’s members to save Dh20,000 per year on an average, that is Dh60,00 in the three years,” Al Janahi said.

Eliminating the labour security deposit together with the additional licensing fee, SME owners will save around 90 per cent of fee costs as well as from 10 to 20 per cent of their capital along three years, he added.

Abdul Aziz Al Mazam, Senior Manager, Business Start-up & Development at Dubai SME, said the flat fee exempts SME businesses from various charges payable otherwise to government authorities including the DED, Dubai Municipality and Civil Defence as well as the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

“For example, Dubai Municipality levies a 5 per cent fee on rent from all businesses. Considering that rent in certain areas in Dubai is quite high, the flat rate presents a huge saving in this respect alone,” he said.

Dubai SME has also reached an agreement with Tecom, Union Cooperative Society and Aswaaq to offer a 20 per cent discount on rents to Dubai SME members. Additionally, Dubai SME members are exempted from the Dh3,000 payable as bank guarantee for every employee hired as per an agreement signed with the Ministry of Labour.

“There are 5,000 people employed by Dubai SME members and the bank guarantee exemption means another saving of Dh15 million for these SMEs. We are trying to open the world of business and enterprise as wide as possible and cutting down cost of licensing and hiring will encourage entrepreneurs while also complementing the efforts to enhance Dubai’s global rankings in the ease of doing business,” said Al Mazam.

Jitendra Gianchandani, Chairman of Jitendra consulting group, told Gulf News; “It’s worthwhile discount to SMEs members, no doubt about it, waiver of market fees or flat fees and deposits to various government, is decent amount.”

“It will ease the burden on the SMEs. However as SMEs members represent only 1200 members, which is almost negligible compare to total SMEs operating in Dubai .Hence such discount should be extended to other firms who are established since more than decade and never had any fine or labour dispute, to encourage them and create healthy atmosphere in the country”

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