No fees, fines for firms hit by service suspensions

By Eudore R. Chand

UAE 23 March 2020: Local establishments affected by the suspension of services, have been exempted from fees and fines, according to Resolution No.3 for 2020 issued by H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain.

The resolution stipulates that after reviewing the resolution of the Umm Al Qaiwain Executive Council No. 5 for 2020 regarding the preventive measures to contain the spread of epidemics and viruses, the following decision has been taken: All local licensed establishments and companies affected by the decision to suspend their services as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Covid-19, shall be exempted from paying local fees due to the Umm Al Qaiwain government, such as fees for renewing licenses and rental contracts, and other fees or fines incurred that are determined by the Executive Council, until further notice.

The resolution aims to reduce the burdens on owners of establishments and companies in the emirate, and encourage them to continue operating their businesses.

The resolution shall be in force from the date of its issuance and published in the official gazette, said Wam.

Ajman Bank offers relief initiatives

Ajman Bank has announced a set of initiatives aimed at participating and contributing to the government’s scheme for business continuity in the UAE in the light of precautionary measures and pressures witnessed by the global economy.

  • The bank is supporting the education sector by providing Dh300,000 to purchase and distribute a number of laptops required by the distance learning system.
  • All citizens customers are entitled to a three-month deferral without delay on their financing products [personal finance, auto financing and real estate financing].
  • All Ajman Bank customers who have availed personal loans, car loans, or mortgages can apply for a three-month repayment holiday with zero fees.
  • Exemption for all customers who applied for new financing products [auto finance, personal finance, or home finance] from fees by 50% in addition to withdrawing from ATMs and credit cards.
  • Fees on cash withdrawals made by using debit cards on all ATMs of other banks throughout the country has also been waived off.
  • Credit card customers can take advantage of interest-free instalment plans for all school fees payments and e-learning devices with no processing fees for up to 3 months as well as customers using credit cards for cash withdrawals can enjoy 50% reduction in cash advance charges. In addition, the maximum cash withdrawal limits from the ATM machines have also been increased.
  • The initiatives also included clients with whom current and new financing facilities are available and those who are financially impacted by unpaid leave and other valid reasons can request up to 3 deferred monthly installments without fees and profit charges. They can also be provided rescheduling upon request.
  • Providing initiatives for priority banking services customers, small businesses, and priority banking relationship managers, permanent support and individual clients and cardholders who benefited from personal finance, auto financing or mortgages can apply for a 3-month repayment holiday without fees.
  • Debit cardholders can now withdraw cash for free from the ATMs of any other bank in the country and customers who use credit cards for cash withdrawals will enjoy a 50% reduction in cash withdrawal fees and credit cardholders can take advantage of 0% 3-month easy instalment plan to pay school fees and purchase e-learning devices. All Ajman Bank employees are also entitled for a deferral of 3 months on their financing.

Mohamed Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, Ajman Bank, stated, “We would like to assure our customers that they can continue to deal with our bank and communicate with us through the use of our digital banking solutions that have been designed for the convenience of our customers and to reach them wherever they are throughout the day.”

Dh6 million AFZ fund to support China Mall

Ajman Free Zone (AFZ), has announced a financial support of Dh6 million to support the Gulf Chinese Trading Corporation which runs the China Mall Ajman.

The financial support will cover the value of the rent for a period of up to three months, in a move that reflects the keenness of AFZ to help investors and businesses to maintain the continuity of their business in a smooth manner.

This step comes as part of AFZ social responsibility towards investors, trading, the emirate’s economy, and the country in light of the conditions the world is currently facing due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

Dubai Police urges use of App or website for transactions

As part of the precautionary measures to maintaining public health and safety, the General Department of Traffic in Dubai has urged all its customers to complete transactions via available smart channels.

Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, Director of The General Department of Traffic in Dubai, said customers could avail to the Department’s services (including traffic fines payment and inquiry) through the Dubai Police smart app, Dubai Police official website, Max Box Kiosks, or by calling 901.

Alternatively, customers can visit the smart police stations available across the emirate to complete their transaction swiftly and with no human intervention.

Brig. Al Mazroui confirmed that the Department has already suspended in-person services at its customer happiness centres as part of the country’s efforts in ensuring the safety of its citizens and residents.

Etihad flights to Beijing to operate via Xi’an

Etihad Airways has announced that effective from Sunday 22nd March, its services to Beijing will stop in the city of Xi’an, where passengers will disembark for health screening, customs clearance, and to claim their baggage.

“This procedure is likely to be lengthy,” the airline said in a statement, adding that this directive does not affect the return schedule from Beijing to Abu Dhabi.

Due to the global spread of the new coronavirus, Covid-19, the health and aviation authorities of China have issued a directive to all international airlines flying to Beijing, instructing them to land in another designated airport in China before continuing to the capital.

“Once cleared by the local authorities for entry into China, passengers will re-board and baggage will be reloaded for the short flight to Beijing,” according to the statement.

Three new recoveries from Covid-19 in Kuwait

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Health Minister Sheikh Dr. Basil Al-Sabah on Sunday announced that three coronavirus cases have recovered.

Two of the cases were a Kuwaiti nationals – a male and a female – and the third patient that recovered was Spanish national residing in the country, bringing the total number of recoveries to 30, the Minister explained.

Speaking to the Kuwait News Agency, Sheikh Basil Al-Sabah said that laboratory and radiological tests showed that these three cases were cured from the virus.

The minister stated that the three patients will be transferred to rehabilitation wards in the assigned hospital, in preparation for discharge within the next two days.

Thailand reports 188 new coronavirus cases

BANGKOK: Thailand reported 188 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, its largest daily increase, taking the total to 599 cases, Reuters quoted a senior health official as saying.

The majority of the new infections are connected to a previous cluster of cases from a boxing stadium, Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a Public Health Ministry spokesman, told a news conference adding one patient had recovered.

“Most of the new cases were found in Bangkok and were among young people who continue to have social activities, which can lead to more infections,” he said urging the public to stay home.

There has been one death in Thailand.

Colombia confirms first coronavirus death

BOGOTA: Colombia’s health ministry late on Saturday confirmed the country’s first death attributed to the coronavirus, as the disease continues to spread worldwide, Reuters has reported.

The victim was a 58-year-old man who worked as a taxi driver in the coastal city of Cartagena, the ministry said in a statement.

“On 4th March, he transported Italian tourists in his vehicle and two days later presented the first symptoms,” the ministry said, adding the man had untreated hypertension and diabetes.

Colombia has so far recorded 210 cases of Covid-19.

The Andean country will enter a nationwide quarantine from Tuesday night, as the government seeks to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Colombia will block incoming international flights from Monday and has ordered people aged 70 and over to stay indoors until the end of May. The government has closed terrestrial borders, schools and bars and will halt domestic flights from Wednesday.

The capital Bogota began holding a four-day obligatory quarantine drill on Friday. It will continue straight into the national quarantine.

More than 300,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus worldwide and over 13,000 have died.