The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has recently waived the payment of fines for violations committed by registered companies operating within the commercial and industrial sectors of the emirate amounting at AED 246,653,900 for a total of 72,242 licenses.
The move is part of the attractive economic incentive package aimed at supporting the private sector, which was announced recently by the Abu Dhabi Executive council under the Abu Dhabi Government’s accelerator programme ‘Ghadan 21.’
This announcement came through the new circular issued by the ADDED following the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, to strengthen the role of the private sector to effectively contribute to achieving sustainable economic development through reducing the cost of doing business in the emirate.
The waived violations by ADDED comprised the fine for delay in license renewal amounting at AED 240,987,400 in addition to other uncollected violation fees related to practicing economic activities amounting at AED 5,666,400.
H.E. Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of ADDED revealed that the circular is part of ADDED's response to these directives, which are aimed at helping preserve the emirate's economic gains while also supporting the private sector, including start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Al Shorafa further emphasized on the positive impacts of this decision noting that it is expected to accelerate the pace of economic development in the emirate. He added that this move reflects the Abu Dhabi Government keenness to support the private sector amidst the current challenging situations affecting the organization’s performance.
H.E. added: “Under the vision and directives of the emirate’s wise leadership, and in line with ADDED commitment to enhance the business environment in Abu Dhabi, we are keen on maintaining our continuous efforts to launch leading initiatives aimed at stimulating the business environment that can support both local and foreign investors in their move towards the further expansion and development of their businesses.”
For his part, H.E. Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED noted that ADDED's strategy focuses on supporting the non-oil economic sectors and increasing their contribution to Abu Dhabi’s gross domestic product (GDP). He explained that the recent circular represents a proactive step in the move to support the private sector in adjusting to the economic changes that the world is facing. He also pointed out that the move is aimed at reducing the expenses of commercial and industrial establishments in the emirate.
H.E. Al Balooshi further emphasized on ADDED's commitment to study the challenges and requirements of private sector companies and encourage them to continue to maintain its operations in Abu Dhabi. The department is also geared towards enhancing and promoting the emirate’s competitiveness at the local and regional levels to increase the confidence of local investors and businessmen in the local economy and consolidate the emirate's position as a highly preferred destination for practicing different economic activities.
The waived violations that were issued by ADDED for the violating licenses mostly comprised non-compliance with set terms and conditions of a facility; practicing additional economic activities not covered by an existing license to operate; improper storage of goods in unsafe areas like corridors, facades and outside the shop or within a residential property and residing in facilities not fit for living conditions, in addition to other cases like allowing of smoking in restaurant, salons and game centres.