Abu Dhabi has offered restaurants, leisure, entertainment and tourism businesses in the emirate the opportunity to recover 20 per cent of their annual rent in an effort to cushion the economic blow of the Covid-19 crisis on the private sector.
The emirate's Department of Economic Development on Monday said in a tweet that it had set up a new digital service to receive requests for the rebate on commercial properties.
It said that "the refund process has been initiated for the owners of economic licences".
"Up to 20 per cent of the value of the rental contracts of the properties for its commercial facilities will be funded," the department said.
Abu Dhabi, which accounts for about 6 per cent of the world’s proven oil reserves, introduced a number of measures to shore up its private sector after the outbreak of Covid-19.
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The emirate introduced a stimulus package in March to mitigate the Covid-19 crisis.
The relief programme includes 16 initiatives to reduce the cost of living and support businesses in the emirate.
Businesses eligible to apply for the rent rebate include restaurants, cafes, cafeterias and takeaway outlets.
The rebate also applies to businesses engaged in leisure, tourism and entertainment activities. Hotels, however, are excluded from the initiative.
The initiative has specific criteria and covers rental contracts signed between October 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020, the department said on its website.
Rental agreements that expire between April 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020, are also eligible.
The refund system is fully automated and companies will receive notification when the rebate has been deposited in their bank accounts, according to the department's website.