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Sat 30 May 2020 05:45 PM

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Ras Al Khaimah launches stimulus package for businesses

Package of initiatives includes three levels of support: payment exemptions, postponement of fees and the provision of consultancy and assistance

Ras Al Khaimah launches stimulus package for businesses

As part of the stimulus package, the Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah has launched an unprecedented initiative that includes replacing the payment of fines for environmental violations incurred before March 31 this year with the planting of trees.

Ras Al Khaimah has announced a stimulus package aimed at easing the financial burden on companies in the emirate during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The package of initiatives by local government entities and free zones in Ras Al Khaimah includes three levels of support: payment exemptions, postponement of fees and the provision of consultancy and assistance.

One of the most notable incentives introduced by RAK government agencies is a 25% exemption on fees for renewing commercial licences, provided they meet the terms and conditions set by the Department of Economic Development in Ras Al Khaimah.

Extending business licence renewal period for 60 days

The measures taken by the Department of Economic Development in Ras Al Khaimah include extending the licence renewal period for 60 days from the date of expiry.

In addition, business establishments will be allowed to operate around the clock for three months and be exempt from marketing permit fees for two months during this year, in case the current situation ends. Hotels, resorts and all tourism activities will also be exempt from commercial registration during the closing period. This is in addition to exemption from late fines and fines for engaging in activities arising from commercial licences since the beginning of the year.

Business tenants exempt from rental fees, health card fees reduced

Ras Al Khaimah Municipality Department has exempted tenants in markets (owned by the Municipality) from rental fees for three months, including barbershops, beauty salons and shops in Nakheel market.

It has also exempted advertising companies from rental fees for three months and companies from the monthly installment fees of municipal rental documentation for the commercial sector for one year from the license renewal date. It has also waived permit fees for outdoor area occupancy for roads and public facilities and reduced fees for issuing health insurance cards.

Planting trees instead of paying fines and fees reduced

As part of the stimulus package, the Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah has launched an unprecedented initiative that includes replacing the payment of fines for environmental violations incurred before March 31 this year with the planting of trees.

The number of trees will be determined by the severity of each violation and the authority will provide the trees to be planted.

In addition, fees incurred by industrial establishments that pay less than AED 50,000 annually will be reduced by 25% for the period April 1 to December 31, while annual fees from industrial establishments that pay more than AED 50,000 annually to the authority (such as crushers and cement factories) for April 1 to December 31, 2020 will be deferred for a period of one year.

50% discount on Hemaya fines

The General Resources Authority (GRA) has announced the exemption of the fees on commercial vehicles (for investors) until October 1, 2020. Additionally, the GRA is availing a 50% discount of ‘Hemaya’ fines against different establishments and service providers until October 1, 2020, provided that the violations occurred prior to this announcement.

It has also offered small businesses, such as grocers, to place their ads on its website free of charge. The CCTV service providers use this website to renew or issue their licenses, and such a proposition will contribute in marketing for their services.

Support for 15,000 companies and residence visa discounts

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) has launched a package of customizable incentives, aimed at supporting more than 15,000 companies operating under its umbrella.

These incentives include a three-month exemption from renewing commercial licences, flexible options for payment of fees, such as installment plans; a 50% discount on the cost of licenses; full exemption from the amount of insurance on new residency visa applications; a 25% discount on new residency visas for family members of people employed by RAKEZ companies; full exemption from renewal delay fines; full exemption from cheque postponement fees; full exemption from package downgrade fees; full exemption from changing activity fees; a 25% discount on new workers’ housing applications; and complete exemption from entrance fees to centers affiliated with RAKEZ.

Tourist licence fees

The initiatives launched by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority include supporting the tourism sector include a six-month exemption from tourist licence fees and exemption from the ‘tourism dirham’ fee from March to May 2020; full exemption from tourism licensing fees for the second and third quarters of 2020 and from tourism licensing fines until September 30, 2020.

A financial incentives package is also being launched, targeting private tourism companies including mid-level and four-star hotels and specific tourist destinations, golf courses and other tourism institutions. In addition, the authority’s partners in the hospitality sector will be able to participate in a variety of exhibitions and promotional tours that will be launched in 2020 and 2021, with all fees waived.

RAK Tourism will also establish an Incentive Committee and an Internal Steering Committee for the Emirate.

Chamber support

Ras Al Khaimah Chamber of Commerce and Industry has approved a set of steps to assist commercial organisations operating in the emirate, including a 100% exemption from delay fines due on memberships ending on June 30, 2020. In an initiative to support citizen entrepreneurs who benefit from the business incubators program, the Chamber decided to exempt them from rental fees due for the period from April to December 2020.

Exemptions for exhibitions

In order to restore activity to the exhibition sector, Ras Al Khaimah Chamber of Commerce and Industry introduced a 50% exemption on foreign exhibition permits until the end of 2020 and a 25% exemption on consumer and specialised exhibitions held at Ras Al Khaimah Exhibition Centre until the end of 2020.

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