Abu Dhabi's $13.6bn stimulus package to provide jobs, SME boost

Abu Dhabi officials have been instructed to 'draw up a working plan for allocations within 90 days'
Mohamed Bin Zayed al-Nayhan ordered the provision of at least 10,000 jobs for Emiratis in the public and private sectors over five years. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Wed 06 Jun 2018 06:44 AM

A new $13.6 billion (AED 50 billion) Abu Dhabi plan to stimulate its economy includes 10 economic initiatives designed to cover infrastructure and legislative projects and SMEs, as well as industrial and social projects, it was announced on Tuesday.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said that the plan has will accelerate Abu Dhabi’s economic growth over the course of three years, improve the ease of doing business and enhance the work experience of UAE national and residents alike.

Sheikh Mohamed has given the Executive Committee of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council to draw up a detailed execution plan for the stimulus package within 90 days.

As part of the plan, Abu Dhabi plans to create at least 10,000 jobs for Emiratis in the private and public sectors over the next five years, in addition to taking steps to boost the competitiveness of SMEs on the local and regional levels.

Among the initiatives that form the stimulus package are the exemption of all new licences from the requirement of having an office or work space for two years, as well as permitting permanent home licences and the implementation of instant licensing systems in most commercial licence types.

Additionally, Sheikh Mohamed gave a directive to accelerate the settlement of due payments on contracts for suppliers from the private sector and to review all fines for the healthcare and education sector, as well as municipalities’ affairs.

In a third directive, Sheikh Mohamed ordered that building regulations for infrastructure, residential, commercial and industrial properties be reviewed in a bid to reduce costs and support Abu Dhabi’s urban development.

As part of the emirate’s wider effort to diversify its economy, Sheikh Mohamed also ordered the establishment of the “Abu Dhabi Accelerators and Advanced Industries Council”. The ‘Ghadan’ – Arabic for ‘tomorrow’ – will attract ad support value-added investments and technologies that will help predict the course of Abu Dhabi’s economic development.

In the tourism sector, Sheikh Mohamed ordered that Abu Dhabi do more to develop eco-tourism facilities and programmes of all kind, both nautical and on the mainland, including camping villages and recreational sports areas.

Lastly, Sheikh Mohamed ordered the issuance of dual licences for Abu Dhabi free zone companies to enable them to work outside the free zones and participate in government tenders.

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Last Updated: Wed 06 Jun 2018 02:17 PM GST

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