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Dubai slashes some taxes

DUBAI, May 29 – Dubai\’s ruler has frozen taxes on some services and ordered others be slashed by 20-30 percent in a bid to encourage investment in the Gulf emirate, seriously hit by the global financial crisis.

Under the measure, announced by the official Wam news agency, Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum ordered that no fees be increased.

Taxes to be cut include fees for the issuance and renewal of trade and professional licences, licences for business promotions, property ownership certificates and for converting buildings into hotels or serviced apartments and for remodeling commercial buildings.

"The decision mirrors the ruler\’s keenness for bolstering the economic competitiveness of Dubai and enhancing the government\’s support to the investment environment for the benefit of the community as a whole," Wam said.

In March, international rating agency Standard and Poor\’s said it expected Dubai\’s economy to contract by between two percent and four percent this year as slumping oil prices and the global economic downturn hit the real estate market.

Dubai is one of seven emirates making up the United Arab Emirates, which does not impose income taxes.

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