Coronavirus: DSOA rolls out initiatives, incentives and payment plans in response to COVID-19

DSOA is the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)

The Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) has announced several exemptions, incentives and flexible payment plans for companies, commercial tenants and residents occupying buildings it owns.

According to a statement from DSOA, the initiatives are in support of business continuity and enable its partners to overcome the effects of the current economic slowdown, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. DSOA said it approved several comprehensive economic incentives to complement the Dubai government’s ongoing economic stimulus efforts.

DSOA is offering rent waivers to the retail sector affected by the closure of businesses including restaurants, shops, and gyms at Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority-owned buildings, starting from March 15 and ending once the government allows retail outlets to reopen. The authority said businesses are also exempt from late payment fines until August 31. In addition, several business partners and tenants will also benefit from a waiver on all late payment fines for the period.

The retail sector at Dubai Silicon Oasis will also receive discounts of up to 10% of the rental value upon renewal, and an additional 5% discount on the annual rent, if paid on time and in one installment, said DSOA. Additionally, marketing fees will be reduced by 25% and deferred for up to three months. Retail business owners can also choose to pay outstanding fees in installments, and leverage their visa security deposits to pay off their financial dues to DSOA, the statement said.

Vice Chairman and CEO Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni said these exemptions and incentives are aimed at enabling various businesses, including those working at DSO, to ensure business continuity and enhance their agility and resilience in dealing with the global effects of the pandemic.

“We have also approved a package of incentive measures for startups based at Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus, Dtec, the largest tech hub and co-working space in the Mena region, wholly owned by DSOA, including a waiver of all late payment and overstay fines until August 31,” Al Zarooni explained.

Dtec is said to be offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to defer rent payments for up to three months, as well as a 5% discount on their annual rent, if paid on time and in one deposit. In addition, on renewal of their tenancy contracts, flexi desk and fixed desk tenants can pay rent in up to six installments, in addition to leveraging their visa security deposits to pay off their financial dues to DSOA, said Al Zarooni.

The authority has approved a flexible payment scheme for companies operating from its buildings. Companies can postpone rent payments for the next three months, commencing April 2020. Service charges are also being waived from March 15 until further notice, and options are being given to spread the payments based on discussions with DSOA’s Finance Department, over a period of six months following the expiry of the postponement date.

Cheque retrieval fees are also being waived and DSOA notes that it is pardoning first offenders’ bounced check fees, thereby facilitating easy monthly payments in accordance with its terms and conditions. During the exemption period, DSOA is offering new companies a grace period on monthly rent payments until May end and a discount of up to 10% on the monthly rent. DSOA explained it is waiving the service charge until the government allows companies to continue working from their offices.

Existing residential tenants at Dubai Silicon Oasis now also have the option of paying their rents monthly, while a new rental structure has also been activated. DSOA said it will defer all new and existing lease payments for up to two months and provide flexible payment plans for the remainder of the lease duration. DSOA will waive cheque retrieval fees on bounced checks for first offenders, remarked Al Zarooni.

He concluded, “Residential villa tenants can benefit from a discount of $1,360, while other residential tenants receive a discount of $545, if they pay the annual rent as one deposit.”

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