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Mon 20 May 2019 02:08 PM

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Dubai free zone waives $9.5m fines for firms amid tolerance push

Jebel Ali Free Zone says it will waive fines owed by its businesses as part of the Year of Tolerance initiative

Dubai free zone waives $9.5m fines for firms amid tolerance push
Jafza said the waiver of fines will support the UAE government’s goal of further enhancing its ease of doing business rating.

Dubai's Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) has announced that it will waive an estimated AED35 million ($9.5 million) in fines owed by its businesses as part of the UAE government’s designation of 2019 as the Year of Tolerance.

Jafza said the waiver of fines will support the UAE government’s goal of further enhancing its ease of doing business rating, incentivising new companies and investors considering operations in the Middle East.

The UAE currently ranks 11th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking.

The free zone continues to be a leading source of foreign direct investment, accounting for nearly 24 percent of Dubai’s total yearly inflow.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation said: "Jafza has always placed its customers’ needs as its highest priority, and this is one of many initiatives to create a business environment that promotes growth and reduces costs. We will continue to push the boundaries of innovation and to develop the world-class solutions and services that our clients have come to expect."

He added that in addition to promoting the Year of Tolerance, this initiative is also expected to impact Dubai’s economy positively, as the funds will now allow firms to increase investment in their operations.

On Saturday, Jafza announced it will become the first in the UAE to return cash and bank guarantees to businesses in a push to protect wages of its employees.

The move will provide added benefits to employees and infuse AED1.3 billion ($354 million) back into Dubai’s economy.