The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has revealed that it has completed the cancellations of all violations and fines incurred by the delay in license renewals for all licenses that have expired until 16 March 2020. The measures have benefitted more than 72,000 licenses with a total value exceeding AED 246 million.
The move falls in line with the recent circular that ADDED issued covering the cancellation of all penalties imposed on economic licenses, which in turn also complements the Abu Dhabi Government's directives to support the private sector through the offer of a package of economic initiatives that was also earlier announced by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
H.E. Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary, ADDED, explained that the department's move to waive the fines and violations of economic facilities in Abu Dhabi demonstrates its adherence to the directives issued by H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, to enhance and promote the role of the private sector and help contribute to a sustainable economic development through a reduction in costs of doing business in the emirate.
Al Balooshi further revealed that this decision is expected to help drive in a positive impact on the move to accelerate the pace of economic development in Abu Dhabi. He added that the efforts demonstrate the emirate's keenness towards supporting the private sector as it faces the challenges caused by the emerging coronavirus (COVID-19), which has so far affected the performance of companies and facilities in Abu Dhabi. In line with this, Al Balooshi affirmed ADDED's continued commitment towards stimulating the emirate's business environment through the launch of more quality focused initiatives that have been designed and developed to support local and foreign investments.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Ali Al Marar, Director, Trade Licenses Department, ADDED, pointed out that the fines and violations that the department cancelled until the date of the circular included penalties for license renewals delays with a total of AED 240,987,400. He said that this also includes the uncollected violations related to economic activities, which comes to a total of AED 5,666,400.
Al Marar explained that the total number of individual organization licenses, that were included in the cancelation order reached 48,724 licenses, which accounts for 76 per cent of the total licenses covered by the decision—14,086 of these organizations have expired licenses for less than 24 months. Moreover, 34,758 individual organizations whose licenses expired for 24 months or more have got all penalties for delayed license renewal, commercial registration, fees due for activities and improving services cancelled.
Al Marar added that the number of other companies whose licenses expired for less than 24 months and covered by ADDED’s circular, reached 7,367 companies, including 3,931 limited liability companies (LLC); 1,387 Abu Dhabi local branches; 895 UAE branches; 757 one-person companies; 137 branches of companies; 115 foreign branches; 45 partnership companies; 28 Gulf branches; 22 limited partnership companies; five private joint-stock companies; five occupational companies; three government sector companies and one public joint-stock company.
On the other hand, companies whose licenses expired for 24 months or more and also included in the waiver decision, amounted to 15,975 companies, distributed as 9,458 LLCs; 2,336 Abu Dhabi local branches; 1,913 UAE branches; 840 branches of companies; 735 foreign branches; 208 partnership companies; 149 limited partnership companies; 145 one-person companies; 38 Gulf branches; 15 occupational companies; 12 public joint-stock companies; seven private joint-stock companies; seven professional and two government sector companies.
Al Marar emphasized that the owners of expired licenses, which belong to individual organizations, must start either by renewing the license or canceling it using ADDED’s digital channels or through the ‘TAMM’ website.
He added that other companies whose licenses expired for less or more than 24 months should start the renewal process of their licenses or otherwise liquidate their businesses in case they wish to cancel the license and benefit from the waiver of fines.
Lastly, Al Marar explained that the uncollected violations and fines that ADDED has cancelled for violating facilities have a total value of AED 5,666,000. These violations include non-compliance with the terms and regulations related to a facility’s location; the practice of additional economic activities without obtaining a license or permission; the storage of goods inside the facility or placement of goods inside corridors, in front or outside the facility’s shop or inside residential units; the utilization of the facility’s location or any part of it for housing purposes; and the allowance of smoking inside gym halls or restaurants and salons.