Wednesday, June 16, 2021

UAE: Abu Dhabi Ports Freezes Rents in its Economic Zones

Abu Dhabi Ports has extended its relief measures for businesses in its Industrial Cities and Free Zone Cluster unit by freezing rent increases for the whole of 2021. The Cluster unit comprises the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), which is one of the world’s largest integrated trade, logistics and industrial hubs; and ZonesCorp, Abu Dhabi’s largest manager of purpose-built economic zones. According to the official release, Abdullah Al Hameli, Head of the Industrial Cities and Free Zone Cluster, said that the rent freeze will apply to more than 1,400 firms operating within KIZAD and ZonesCorp, and should ensure they can remain competitive in these challenging times. 

The freeze on rent hikes, announced on 10 January 2021, follows a number of relief measures introduced in 2020 to help businesses weather the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and is part of the Abu Dhabi government’s efforts to maintain its economy. For example, KIZAD last year introduced relief packages that provided its free zone businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises with up to 36% in savings. Existing and prospective KIZAD customers both received savings on registration renewals and on new registrations. Security deposits were also waived for both groups. 

ZonesCorp also announced relief measures last year, including exemption from ‘Musataha’ contract registration, utility payments based on actual consumption, and application and documentation fees. There was also a 25% discount on fees for new investors. Other measures offered included rent deferment; a halt on late payment fines; an exemption from Tawtheeq fees; waived application fees; a 25% reduction in land lease rates for the first year; and a relinquishing of land fixing fees.

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