Abu Dhabi Rolls Out A Series of Workshops and Meetings to Support Hospitality Sector with Multiple Initiatives
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) continued its strategic support for the hospitality industry by conducting a second series of workshops as part of the rollout for the ‘Ghadan 21’ Government accelerator programme.
The workshops hosted leaders from all of Abu Dhabi’s hotels to help bring the hospitality industry up to speed on the application of new rules regarding the collection of reduced Municipality fees and Tourism fees. The reduction in fees is part of a tactical plan to increase the appeal of the emirate for overseas visitors.
The workshops followed the inaugural sessions earlier in the year which covered the responsibilities of hotels to bear the cost of Municipality fees during a transition period. Under the new rules, Tourism fees for hotels and restaurants have been reduced from 6% to 3.5%, Municipality fees for hotels and restaurants from 4% to 2%, and daily Municipality fees for each hotel room from AED 15 to AED 10.
The workshops also form part of a wider programme of support organised by DCT Abu Dhabi for the hospitality sector, which includes regular Industry Development Committee meetings, which provide a forum for stakeholders to coordinate strategically across the emirate. DCT Abu Dhabi also acts as an emirate-wide facilitator and regulator for the sector.
The recent workshops also covered the scope of the new system’s application, and DCT Abu Dhabi employees answered questions on its implementation and the mechanism and rules for compensating all hotel and tourism establishments for the transitional period in applying the new fees.
“The reduction of tourism and municipality fees is intended to enhance the Emirate’s international tourism competitiveness by strengthening Abu Dhabi’s value proposition, and encourage further investment in the hospitality and tourism sectors,” said HE Saood Al Hosani, Executive Director Support Services Sector at DCT Abu Dhabi. “These workshops are crucial in keeping our valued stakeholders fully informed of the new procedures and requirements for the new fees as we work towards achieving our ultimate vision to strengthen the emirate’s position as the preferred destination for tourists from across the region and beyond.”
The reduction in fees initiative represents part the Abu Dhabi Government’s accelerator programme “Ghadan 21”, which aims to make Abu Dhabi one of the best places in the world to do business, invest, live, work and visit. The tourism and municipality fee reductions are estimated to increase available capital for hotels by AED 1 billion over the next three years.
The “Ghadan 21” programme was declared last year by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi to accelerate the existing economic agenda. From 2019 to 2021, AED 50 billion will be invested across four strategic pillars: Economic, Knowledge, Liveability and Social. Each of the Ghadan 21 initiatives have been designed to reflect the priorities of Abu Dhabi’s citizens, residents, business owners and investors.