Citizen entrepreneurs reported that the licensing authority of the Abu Dhabi Global Market imposes fees for licensing a store, kiosk, or any commercial activity, no matter how simple, with a value of $ 6,000 (equivalent to 22,000 dirhams), in the free zone on Al Maryah Island, and so on. From malls.
They assured, “Emirates Today”, that foreign companies, which come to the free zone, want to operate on their own, far from the “sponsor” condition, so it is logical to pay high fees, but entrepreneurs and small business owners who are citizens, find it difficult to pay this. The amount, and they do not need a guarantor.
They asked, “Why should we bear the same fees, even if we are renting a small stall in the mall? Why do we pay the same fees that are imposed on a department store that specializes in selling several types and expanding commercial activities, which constitutes a major obstacle to conducting our business in the Al Maryah Island Free Zone? ”
And they demanded that they not be equated with the large foreign companies whose income and revenues are likely to pay these large sums.
In addition, Emirates Today contacted the Abu Dhabi Global Market, to obtain a response, but no response was received by the time of publication.
In detail, the citizen (Mohamed A.), who preferred not to be named, said: “We are an Emirati company supported by the Khalifa Fund to Support Projects, and specializes in retailing in the commercial centers of international brands.”
He added: “Two stores for the company have been opened in (The Galleria Mall) in (Al Maryah Island), and the area is subject to the laws and regulations of the Abu Dhabi Global Market, which imposes high license fees estimated at ($ 6000), (equivalent to 22 thousand dirhams), for one store, regardless of Regardless of commercial activities, store revenues, or area, and accordingly, we faced difficulty issuing this license.
He continued: “It is recognized by the licensing authorities that an establishment with a simple commercial activity does not have to pay the same fees that are imposed on establishments with large and extensive commercial activities. For example, a small retail store does not have to pay the same fees that are imposed on a department store that specializes in selling several types and expanding commercial activities, which constitutes a major obstacle to conducting our business in the Free Zone in (Al Maryah Island) ».
He said that “a 50% reduction was granted during the past year, taking into account the repercussions of the pandemic on the markets, but these repercussions still exist, and income has decreased by 90%. , Which is commensurate with the current conditions ».
For his part, citizen (Abdullah S.), who preferred not to be named, said, “The foreign companies that come to the free zones are large, and have branches all over the world, and want to operate on their own away from the sponsor system, and their income helps pay large sums for licenses. , While small Emirati companies cannot pay such amounts every year to renew the license, in addition to their ability to commit to paying rents, salaries, and other operating expenses, under the current circumstances.
He added: “Market conditions, after the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, necessitate facilitating and facilitating obligations and reducing fees for citizen entrepreneurs, as the current achieved returns are no longer the same as before, before the emergence of the Corona virus.”
In the same context, the citizen (Yusef A.A.) said: “I will have to close my shop in (The Galleria Mall) on Al Maryah Island, because of the high license fees that reach $ 6000,” adding that he spoke with the mall management, and they confirmed that this matter concerns the affiliated licensing authority To Abu Dhabi Global Market, and asking the (Market) management to look into their complaints, so that they can continue their work. He stressed that the fees for a large store are equal to that of a small store, even if a small kiosk.
• Market conditions necessitate easing obligations and reducing fees for local entrepreneurs.
• Foreign companies are large and have an income that helps them pay large sums for licenses.
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