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The Abu Dhabi government has launched a raft of new initiatives under the Ghadan 21 programme, announced last year, to further support private sector expansion in Abu Dhabi. The programme includes an AED 50 billion fund that is being distributed across four strategic pillars: economic, knowledge, liveability and social.
One of the initiatives announced is the creation of an AED 4 billion fund to boost research and development, and give a fillip to business in the emirate. The fund will concentrate on providing rebates on R&D spends and costs of new activities.
The ‘Instant Licence’ will increase the ease with which business activities are conducted. Approvals will be processed instantly online and, in most cases, licence holders can immediately commence business activities.
Further, businesses will also be able to save up to 40% on their energy bills with the announcement of a new energy discount scheme. The move is expected to be especially beneficial to industrial companies.
One of the highlights of the plan is the SME Credit Guarantee, a government-backed loans scheme designed to promote lending to SMEs.
Other initiatives include an open data programme to offer more transparency to businesses, and Ecotourism Incentive Packages to drive tourism and investment in western Abu Dhabi.
These new policies have been designed to support existing companies in Abu Dhabi as well as attract foreign investment.
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