Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority offers rental waivers and other incentives to its business partners and residents in the wake of coronavirus impact. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) announced exemptions, incentives and flexible payment plans for companies, commercial tenants, and residents occupying buildings owned by the Authority.

DSOA exemptions were announced to support business continuity and enable its partners to overcome the effects of the current economic slowdown following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic,

The regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the DSOA on Sunday approved several comprehensive economic incentives to complement Dubai government’s ongoing economic stimulus efforts.

Rental waiver for retail sector

As part of the package of incentives, DSOA is offering rent waivers to the retail sector affected by the closure including restaurants, shops, and gyms at Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority owned buildings, commencing from March 15, 2020 and ending once the government allows retail outlets to reopen, according to a press release on Sunday.

Established in 2004 and fully owned by the Government of Dubai, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) is providing both a living and a working integrated community with more than 77,000 people. Silicon Oasis is a Free Zone Authority which offers free trade zone incentives and benefits to companies operating within the tech park.

Late payent exemption

In addition, they are exempt from late payment fines until August 31. Likewise, multiple business partners and tenants are to also benefit from a waiver on all late payment fines until August 31.

The Retail sector at DSO will also receive discounts of up to 10 per cent of the rental value upon renewal, and an additional five per cent discount on the annual rent, if paid on time and in one instalment. Marketing fees, likewise, are to be reduced by 25 per cent, and deferred for up to three months. Retail business owners can also choose to pay outstanding fees in instalments, and leverage their visa security deposits to pay off their financial dues to DSOA.

Measures to help businesses

Dr Mohammad Al Zarooni, vice-chairman and CEO of DSOA, said: “The exemptions and incentives approved by DSOA are in line with the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The measures seek to enable 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 COVID-19 outbreak. Reflecting our continuing support to our community and society, this move aligns with the wholehearted commitment of all economic and social sectors to the precautionary and preventive measures implemented across Dubai and the wider UAE as part of the National Sterilisation Programme.”

Dr Mohammad Ali Zarooni

Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus

DSOA has also approved a package of incentive measures for start-ups based at Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), the largest tech hub and coworking space in the MENA region, wholly owned by DSOA, including a waiver of all late payment and overstay fines until August 31, 2020.

Dtec is providing entrepreneurs the opportunity to benefit from deferred rent payments for up to three months, and a five per cent 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 enjoy the option of paying their rents in up to six instalments, in addition to leveraging their visa security deposits to pay off their financial dues to DSOA.

Payment Plans

DSOA has also 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 payments can be spread, based on discussions with DSOA’s Finance Department, over a period of six months following the expiry of the postponement date. DSOA is waiving cheque retrieval fees and pardoning first offenders’ bounced check fees, thereby facilitating easy monthly payments in accordance with its terms and conditions. In addition, DSOA is issuing a waiver on all late payment fees until August 31, 2020, and granting a five per cent discount on the annual rent — if paid on time and in one deposit. The Authority is further enabling customers to use their visa security deposits to pay off their rental financial dues.

Offers for new companies

New companies establishing their offices in DSO for the first time can also benefit from a set of incentives. During the exemption period, DSOA is offering new companies a grace period on monthly rent payments until end of May 2020, and a discount of up to 10 per cent on the monthly rent. Furthermore, the Authority is waiving the service charge until the government allows companies to continue working from their offices.

New rental structure

Existing residential tenants at Dubai Silicon Oasis now have the option of paying their rents monthly and a new rental structure has also been activated. DSOA is to defer all new and existing lease payments for up to two months and provide flexible payment plans for the remainder of the lease duration. The Authority is to waive cheque retrieval fees on bounced checks for first offenders. Residential villa tenants can benefit from a discount of Dh5,000, while other residential tenants receive a discount of Dh2,000, if they pay the annual rent as one deposit.