The United Arab Emirates is reducing or cancelling a range of federal government fees to ease the cost of doing business and increase the country’s appeal to investors.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Finance on Thursday stated that the cabinet had issued a decision to cancel or reduce certain charges on around 1,500 federal services for three ministries by up to 50 per cent. The reductions take effect from this month, the statement said.

Some 1,200 fees have been reduced or cancelled at the Ministry of Interior, 80 at the Ministry of Economy, and 200 at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

"These decisions are expected to further enhance the business environment in the UAE, empower entrepreneurs and encourage them to create new investment opportunities in the UAE," the Ministry of Finance’s statement said.

"The move will also contribute to the creation of more jobs in the country and strengthen its competitive standing as a global business hub."

Fees being reduced by the Ministry of Interior include the issuance or renewal of security licenses, security guard licenses and surveillance systems licences, according to the statement. The list of cancelled fees includes business and industrial licensing services.

Fees will be reduced at the Ministry of Economy for the renewal of registration of foreign subsidiaries, registration and renewal of foreign trademarks, sale or acquisition services for foreign companies and dispute services.

The list of cancelled service fees includes those imposed on requests for information, requests for renewal and registration of an agent, and fees for other services in a bid to “reduce (the) financial burden on companies operating in the country”, according to the statement. 

The reduced fees in the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation will include the issuance and renewal of work permits, the amendment of employment contracts and training permits issued within the country and for work permits outside the UAE.

The Ministry of Finance also said it would “continue to review all fees for federal services” and formulate policies to determine fees charge and the impact these have on the market.

(Writing by Seban Scaria; Editing by Michael Fahy)


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