Abu Dhabi announces major tax reductions

The cost of an evening out will fall

Eating out is about to get a bit cheaper as Abu Dhabi gets set to cut tourism and municipality fees at hotels and restaurants.
Abu Dhabi's Executive Council wants to encourage investment here by reducing fees added to hotel stays and food and drink outlets within the properties.
It will be welcome news for many residents, who have been hit with rising living costs including the introduction of VAT this year.
Under the instruction of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the cut in fees was announced yesterday.
The current six per cent tourism fee applied to hotel rooms and outlets has been reduced to three-and-a-half per cent of the bill.
The municipality fee has been halved from four per cent to two, and the per room, per night hotel fee has fallen from Dh15 to Dh10.
HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “The Executive Council’s decision to adopt the proposal, put forward by the Department of Culture and Tourism- Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), to reduce tourism and municipality fees will enhance the Emirate’s international tourism competitiveness by strengthening Abu Dhabi’s value proposition, and by encouraging investments in the hospitality and tourism sectors.
"Abu Dhabi’s hotel establishments will be further able to record high occupancy rates compared to the regional and global tourism markets. With this decision, hotels and hospitality establishments can achieve more growth and stay in line with the continuous development of the emirate’s infrastructure and its wide variety of cultural and leisure attractions.
"This is in addition to DCT Abu Dhabi’s promotional focus in key markets, adding impetus to these success stories and raising the occupancy rate in the emirate.

"The adoption of the proposal will enhance Abu Dhabi’s attractiveness to investors and support the development of additional tourism projects and hotels. It will also strengthen the emirate’s position as a leading tourism destination for both business and leisure.

"With the fees now being minimal and having a limited impact on accommodation costs, this will help us achieve our vision to strengthen the emirate’s position as the preferred destination for tourists from across the region and beyond.”

HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “The adoption of the new tourism and municipality fees is driven by the leadership’s vision to support the hospitality and tourism sectors and encourage further economic diversification.

"This move will attract further investment to the capital and underpin Abu Dhabi’s aim to expand its tourism proposition and increase visitor numbers.

"The adoption of our proposal by the Executive Council supports our efforts to promote Abu Dhabi as a world-class destination and stimulate the growth of tourism, leisure and business sectors in the capital.

"With the business and travel sectors being so essential to the economy this initiative further assists the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi’s aims to bolster the emirate’s competitiveness on the global stage.
It comes a day after Dubai announced similar measures in a drive to increase tourism in the emirate.
It is expected some six million visitors will enjoy Abu Dhabi’s hotels this year as tourism bosses continue their bid to make the emirate a worldwide tourism destination.

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