Coronavirus Impact: Abu Dhabi Unveils Slew Of Stimulus Packages

The Abu Dhabi Executive Council (ADEC) has announced a number of new initiatives to support businesses during the current health crisis created by the fast-spreading Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The initiatives, which were announced under ‘Ghadan 21’, include a series of stimulus packages that will help small and medium enterprises and also ease loan access to local companies. The Emirate will also see a subsidy in utilities such as water and electricity apart from road tolls exemption till the end of this year.

Coronavirus Impact: Abu Dhabi Unveils Slew Of Stimulus Packages

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, announced that all approved capital expenditure and development projects in the emirate will continue as planned

In a tweet today, he said, “I’ve discussed with officials in Abu Dhabi the current economic and business climate…The existing stimulus programmes in Abu Dhabi and those launched recently by the Central Bank and local governments are the solid pillars that will support & protect the UAE’s economic stability.”

Coronavirus Impact: Abu Dhabi Unveils Slew Of Stimulus Packages

The initiatives follow the Central Bank of UAE’s announcement last week to roll out an AED100 million package to support its banks to battle the economic impacts of coronavirus.
Commenting on the stimulus package Adeeb Ahamed, MD, Lulu Financial Group, said, “The stimulus package unveiled by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council (ADEC) is a welcome relief amidst these trying times. The announcement of subsidies, new public funds, especially the Dh1bn to establish a market maker fund, and other easy lending measures will enhance liquidity in the system and maintain the consumer’s purchasing power. This will ultimately result in shoring up businesses, for both SMEs and bigger players.
The tourism and hospitality industry, which is among the biggest employers in Abu Dhabi, is another sector that has been hit hard by the ongoing crisis. Hotels and tourist destinations are wearing a deserted look, raising doubt on the rate of return on investments made. The proposed rebates on rentals and suspension of municipality fees will go a long way in mitigating panic, as operators look to re-forecast their annual budget.
The need of the hour is to emerge from this crisis with resilience and it’s good to see the government play an active role in supporting residents and businesses, to keep the economy rolling.”

The initiatives, which will be fast-tracked and implemented with immediate effect, annual registration fees exemption for commercial vehicles and real estate registration fees for the rest of the year.

AED5 billion Utility Subsidy
The ADEC also announced an AED5 billion subsidy for water and electricity for citizens, commercial and industrial activities, apart from subsidies for electricity connection fees for SMEs.

AED3 billion SME Credit Guarantee Programme
An AED3 billion for SME credit guarantee programme has been set up. Moreover, performance guarantees for projects up to AED 50 million have been waived for start-ups in 2020. Apart from that, a new committee to review lending options to aid local companies has also been set up.

AED1 billion market maker fund
The AED1 billion market maker fund is being pumped to boost liquidity and maintain a balance between supply and demand for stocks on Abu Dhabi Securities Market.

Rebate on rentals for F&B, Tourism, Entertainment
The initiatives also include an up to 20 per cent rebate on rentals for the restaurant, tourism and entertainment sectors while tourism and municipality fees for tourism and entertainment sectors have been suspended this year.

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