Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO, Dubai SME
Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has announced a substantially discounted annual license fee for SME businesses. The flat fee of AED1, 000 a year is part of a suite of initiatives led by Dubai SME to facilitate SME business and allow entrepreneurs to focus on growing their enterprises without cost concerns.
The flat fee, applicable irrespective of the location of the business within Dubai, will save costs for the 1,200 SMEs registered with Dubai SME. The discount is over and above the license fee waiver available for SMEs in Dubai for the first three years. The waiver in itself represents a net savings of over AED72 million in government fees.
“With the discounted fee we are offering another wide window of opportunity for our SME members. Entrepreneurs can now launch their business with confidence, knowing that government fees will not be burden on their business plan or operations,” said Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO, Dubai SME.
Abdul Aziz Al Mazam, Senior Manager, Business Start-up & Development at Dubai SME, said the flat fee exempts SME businesses from various charges payable otherwise to government authorities including the Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai Municipality and Civil Defence as well as the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
“For example, Dubai Municipality levies a five per cent fee on rent from all businesses. Considering that rent in certain areas in Dubai are quite high, the flat rate presents a huge saving in this respect alone. Add to that the fees payable on employee accommodation, waste-related services etc. and the savings go up further,” added Abdul Aziz.
Dubai SME has also reached an agreement with Tecom, Union-co-operative Society and Aswaaq to offer a 20 per cent discount on rents to Dubai SME members. Additionally, Dubai SME members are exempted from the AED3, 000 payable as bank guarantee for every employee hired as per an agreement signed with the Ministry of Labour.
“There are 5,000 people employed by Dubai SME members and the bank guarantee exemption means another saving of AED15 million for these SMEs. We are trying to open the world of business and enterprise as wide as possible and cutting down cost of licensing and hiring will encourage entrepreneurs while also complementing the efforts to enhance Dubai’s global rankings in the ease of doing business,” said Al Mazam.