#Dubai tops the Middle East & ranks 5th globally ahead of Madrid, Amsterdam, Sydney & Tokyo in CEOWORLD magazine’s survey of the Best Cities to Live in the World for Expats 2020.
Assessment of VAT impact to take 3-5 years: UAE minister
It will take around three to five years to collect the required data for the assessment of the impact of the Value Added Tax (VAT) on the UAE’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to a UAE minister.
Hamid Obaid Al Tayer, the Minister of State for Financial Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) told members of the Federal National Council (FNC) on Tuesday that it was too early for the government to evaluate the impact of VAT to the country’s economy because of insufficient data.
“It requires a period of three to five years to study the impact of VAT on the impact of the country’s economy,” said Al Tayer. “We need ample time to compile sufficient data to evaluate the effects of the tax. The only study that was conducted in 2018 in just not enough. It’s therefore too early to rely on such data to assess the impact of VAT.”
The minister was responding to a question from Hamad Al Rahoumi, first deputy speaker of the FNC and a member representing Dubai about the effects of VAT on the economy, the consumers and traders two years after its implementation.
A five per cent VAT was introduced in UAE from January 2018 and the impact of the tax is yet to be known.
“There have been many challenges, including the low oil prices, geopolitical factors, sanctions imposed on certain nations and now the coronavirus outbreak. All these factors have to be taken into account when assessing the impact of VAT,” said Al Tayer.
He noted that there was no plan to increase the amount of VAT being charged on goods and services as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently recommended.
Last year, the IMF suggested that the VAT should be doubled from five per cent to 10 per cent in Saudi Arabia in consultation with the other Gulf countries.
Al Rahoomi told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the FNC meeting that he raised the issue following mixed reactions from people about VAT and that it was necessary that the concerned body come up with a comprehensive survey on the effects of this tax and its benefits to the nation.
“VAT and other government fees has led to businesses increase prices of various goods and services thereby affecting consumers,” said Al Rahoomi.
UAE’s GDP to increase in 2020
The state minister also noted that the country’s GDP is expected to increase to Dh1.50 trillion in 2020 from Dh1.46 trillion in 2019, an increase of nearly Dh37 billion.
“Last year, the inflation rate was 1.5 per cent. The GDP in 2018 was Dh1.44 trillion and inflation was 3.69 per cent,” said Al Tayer, adding that the country’s GDP in 2017 was Dh1.41 trillion and the inflation was 1.97 per cent.
In 2016, the GDP was Dh1.41 trillion and the inflation rate was 1.61 per cent.
Al Tayer said the UAE is currently witnessing an increase in investment opportunities, which was reflected in the increase in the number of companies registered under the tax system, which is 312,000 companies.
DIFC launches Dh5,500 new licence for startups, entrepreneurs
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has launched a new licence for startups, entrepreneurs and technology firms from different sectors priced at $1,500 per annum (Dh5,500).
The DIFC Innovation License allows access to co-working space at free zone with a flexible desk space at $500 per month. It also offers up to four visas on the first desk and subsidised visas of up to 50 per cent for innovation firms.
“DIFC Innovation License is sector agnostic, available to all start-ups, entrepreneurs and technology firms, offering a vast opportunity to establish, grow and upscale your innovative business to access the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) markets, through Dubai,” reads a statement posted on its website.
The region’s largest financial free zone is home to more than 100 technology and start-up firms. In order to give boost to local startups and fintech industry, DIFC has accelerator programme FinTech Hive and FinTech Fund to bring young entrepreneurs closer to established players keen to cash in on young talent and ideas.
DIFC saw sustained growth in the first half of 2019, adding more than 250 new companies, and bringing the total number of active registered firms to 2,289, demonstrating a 14 per cent increase year-on-year. This has fuelled the creation of over 660 jobs, boosting the Centre’s combined workforce to more than 24,000 individuals, and has resulted in the occupancy of 99 per cent of DIFC-owned buildings.
Thanks to Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai rose up the ranks of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) to number eight position, representing its highest ever ranking.
Dubai ranked as best city for expats in Middle East
Dubai has also ranked fifth globally higher on the list than cities such as Sydney, Amsterdam and Tokyo.
Dubai has been ranked first in the Middle East and fifth globally among the best cities for expats to live and work in 2020.
According to a CEOWORLD Magazine, Dubai has ranked higher on the list than cities such as Sydney, Amsterdam and Tokyo.
The cities were ranked based on local friendliness, cost of living, quality of healthcare, safety, ability to raise a family, and career opportunities.
The magazine asked 127,000 expats from 186 cities to rank the best cities in the world to live and work in 2020.
The survey, conducted by CEOWORLD magazine on Oct 10, 2019, to Jan 2, 2020, was open to all expats over 18 who are currently living away from their home countries.
Dubai Economy issues 4,692 Instant Licences since 2017
Facility provides convenient model for businessmen who can now obtain a commercial licence within 5 minutes
The Business Registration and Licensing (BRL) sector at Dubai Economy reported that 4,692 Instant Licences were issued since the launch of the service in July 2017 to date.
Among the Instant Licences issued, 3,448 were in the commercial (73.5 per cent) and 1,244 were professional (26.5 per cent) categories.
The Instant Licence service provides a convenient model for businessmen who can now obtain a commercial licence within five minutes, enabling them to establish and conduct business in Dubai easily. The initiative is a path-breaking service whereby businesses can secure their commercial license in one-step for the first year without having a company’s lease or location.
Through the Instant Licence, Dubai Economy seeks to highlight the sustainable economic development and competitiveness of the emirate.
All business activities can benefit from the service, except public and private shareholding companies, through eServices (ded.ae/instant), the various outsourced service centres in Dubai, or the Happiness and Smart Lounges.
Holders of general trade licences can only use electronic services. All business partners or one of them must be present while applying through the outsourced service centres or the Happiness Lounge and must provide a valid passport copy of all parties (partner and manager), residence visa copy and no-objection letter from the sponsor to the foreign parties.
The Instant Licence offers the option of an electronic memorandum of Association (eMOA), in addition to obtaining the license and entry in the Dubai Economy commercial registry.
Furthermore, the licencee is given membership in the Dubai Chamber instantly, an establishment card of the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs as well as three work permits for employees from the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation once the trade license is issued.
‘Native’ workers registration
The registration of ‘Native’ workers in the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation is done while issuing the Instant Licence. If the partners wish to appoint the employees before the issuance of the Instant Licence, they need to follow a few simple steps or else skip the screen and complete the procedures.
The number of Instant Licence owners reached 16,935 and 87.6 per cent (14,842) of them are men while women account for 12.4 per cent (2,093). The businessmen who secured Instant Licences so far include those from Britain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Sudan.
An Instant Licence can be obtained for four legal forms of businesses – limited liability company (LLC), single member LLC, sole proprietorship and civil company.
The Instant Licence initiative has also contributed to the sub-indicator ‘Starting a business’ in the Ease of Doing Business Index 2020 issued by the World Bank, which ranked the UAE 17th globally.