Dubai's Department of Economic Development (DED) on Saturday said it would maintain the facility of a 50 per cent reduction in fines for businesses in 2019 as part of its ease of doing business initiatives, as well as to support private sector entities.
During 2017-18, Dh23.4 million worth of fines were waived off under the facility for the emirate's businesses.
The initiative will help local businesses to cope up with the challenging economic environment and compete within the UAE and in the region.
In order to prop up the local economy, Dubai announced a host of measures over the last couple of years for different sectors, such as the reduction of municipality fees, freezing of hikes in education fees, discounts on fees for new licences and reduction in licence fees by the emirate's free zones, among many others.
Mohammed Ali Rashid Lootah, CEO of Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection at Dubai's Department of Economic Development, said more than 4,650 fine settlement requests were received in 2017-18.
The 50 per cent reduction, according to the DED, is applicable only on fines issued for the first violation in a calendar year.
As per the new facility, as soon as a commercial violation is entered in the system, the trader receives a text message with an automatic reduction of 50 per cent in the fine, it added. Previously, a customer had to request a settlement upon which the system verified the trader's eligibility for any reduction in fines.
"The net value of fines settled under the 50 per cent reduction in 2017-18 was Dh23.4 million. We believe that the new automated system will be smoother and more flexible as it will automatically adjust the fines and benefit more business owners," Lootah said, adding that the automatic fine settlement facility will contribute to enhancing happiness in Dubai and the emirate's position across global competitiveness indicators.
By Waheed Abbas
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