Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 6 August 2020

Dubai South rolls out economic stimulus package

Companies at Dubai South Business Park can apply for a six-month rent deferral

View of the Dubai South model at the Dubai South Headquarters office in Dubai. The 145 square kilometre district was launched in 2005. Pawan Singh / The National 
View of the Dubai South model at the Dubai South Headquarters office in Dubai. The 145 square kilometre district was launched in 2005. Pawan Singh / The National 

The Dubai South free zone, incorporating the city's Al Maktoum International Airport, is introducing a series of measures as part of a stimulus package. These include fee waivers, reductions and instalment plans for companies hit by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The 145 square kilometre free zone, which features aviation, logistics and business districts, is offering a deferral of up to six months for qualifying firms on rental payments at its business park, flexible payment plans and a 20 per cent reduction on licence renewals.

New companies in the aviation, logistics and e-commerce markets looking to set up within the zone will also have their first-year licence fees waived.

"Dubai South is proud to be part of the emirate’s overall value proposition and we are keen to enhance its competitiveness and attractiveness to ensure it can attract more domestic and foreign direct investment," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman of Dubai Airports.

"Our current customers are our most important asset; therefore, our focus is to provide them with all our support in these challenging times and beyond, so that they will be able to support the national economy and contribute to gross domestic product growth."

The aviation sector has been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, as movement restrictions put in place globally to prevent its spread, temporarily halted passenger air travel.

The International Air Transport Association has forecast airlines could lose $314 billion (Dh1.15 trillion) in passenger revenue this year – a 55 per cent drop on 2019. It has also said about 25 million jobs in the industry are at risk worldwide. Although some e-commerce firms like Amazon have reported improved revenues, costs have also gone up as supply chains have been disrupted.

In Dubai, the government made an equity injection in its flagship Emirates airline to help protect a sector that is of strategic importance to its economy, and airports operator Dubai Airports has announced measures to help offset a loss in passenger revenue and is putting in place plans for gradual reopenings. The government also launched a Dh1.5bn stimulus package to support businesses through reduced utility bills and reduction.

“This incentive package complements the measures announced by the Government of Dubai and its ongoing efforts to reduce the costs of doing business in the emirate and help enhance corporate liquidity," Khalifa Al Zaffin, executive chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation and Dubai South, said.

"The support will enable companies to maintain their resources and employees and to be fully prepared to continue their operations, especially as the lockdown is being gradually lifted, paving the path towards gradual business cycle normality."

Updated: May 3, 2020 09:51 PM

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