Coronavirus: DIFC waives rent for three months for retail partners

Rent waiver is part of a broader stimulus package designed to support DIFC’s partners

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) announced that retailers based at DIFC-owned assets now benefit from a three-month rent-free period on their base rent. The move aims to provide businesses with added flexibility and financial relief.

According to a statement, from April to June 2020, retailers of all types based in DIFC’s owned assets – Gate Avenue, Gate Village and Gate District will not be required to pay basic rent.

“We consider businesses in Dubai as our constant partners in development and are committed to supporting them in both favorable and adverse economic environments. The latest measures announced by DIFC are part of Dubai’s broader strategic framework for assisting businesses in easing the financial strains caused by the pandemic and helping them renew their business momentum when the crisis ends,” said Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of DIFC.

DIFC said that it recently introduced initiatives to support businesses in response to the impact caused by COVID-19. Packages include a waiver of annual licensing fees on new registrations during the next three months and a 10% discount of renewal fees for existing license holders in the DIFC that are due to renew their licenses during this period. Additionally, DIFC will allow deferred payments with respect to all properties owned by DIFC Investments for a period of up to six months.

Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC added, “These measures have been introduced as part of our ongoing stimulus package, which aims to alleviate the tremendous burden that COVID-19 has on our clients, industry and economy. This has particularly been an exceptionally challenging time for retailers, with the added impact of stores being temporarily closed as part of limiting the spread of COVID-19. The retail sector makes a vital contribution to our dynamic community and therefore it is essential we support the industry through our retail stimulus package to provide some level of certainty to our valued tenants. Our efforts to support DIFC’s business community is testament to Dubai’s wise leadership to ensure our future economy is protected and positioned for growth.”

DIFC stated it will apply a reduction on property transfer fees from 5% to 4% for any sale of property (or any part thereof) that took place within the three-month period and if the transfer is registered with the DIFC Registrar of Properties, at the latest, within 30 days after the expiry of the said three month period.

He added, “Building on our fiscal easing measures, waiving basic rental fees for retailers will secure livelihoods and enable outlets to once again contribute to one of Dubai’s primary shopping destinations with ease and flexibility as markets start to rebalance. Ultimately, we have made it a priority to extend a helping hand to our retail clients and dynamic business community. We will continue to persevere together and safeguard Dubai’s economic future.”

The financial centre remarked that it will also facilitate the free movement of labour in and out of the DIFC to other free zones, provided the employers concerned have the necessary arrangements and contracts in place with their employees.


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