Abu Dhabi Ports offers new relief measures to industrial and economic zone businesses

Measures include a three-month rent deferment for the second quarter, a freeze on late payment penalties and some fee exemptions

Abu Dhabi Maritime will be responsible for the development of infrastructure and the management of the emirate’s coastal zones. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Ports
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Abu Dhabi Ports rolled out new relief measures to businesses across its industrial and economic zone subsidiaries aimed at easing the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on investors and customers.

The package of measures for existing customers includes a three-month deferral on rents for the second quarter, a freeze on late payment penalties and an exemption from the property-registration "Tawtheeq" fees, Abu Dhabi Ports said in a statement on Thursday.

"In line with the government’s effort to extend relief to businesses during these exceptional economic circumstances, Abu Dhabi Ports is taking necessary steps to help our industrial and economic zone customers overcome the current challenges brought on by the spread of coronavirus," Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, group chief executive of Abu Dhabi Ports, said.

The UAE reported 518 new coronavirus cases on Thursday as widespread testing of Covid-19 approached one million tests.

Abu Dhabi Ports' relief package also features measures for new investors, including waiving applications fees, a 25 per cent reduction in land lease rates for the first year, an exemption on Tawtheeq fees and a relinquishing of land fixing fees.

“We remain united and resolute in facing our difficulties together, confident in the belief that we will emerge from this crisis better and stronger," Mr Al Shamisi said.

The relief measures come on the heels of a 25 per cent waiver on rentals for new customers at Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad), a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports.

Other benefits under the government relief package include exemptions until the end of the year on commercial real estate registration. It also offers subsidised utilities for commercial and industrial activities – including payment of natural gas bills, based on actual consumption for a six-month period – a Dh3 billion allocation for SME’s credit guarantee programme; a waiver of performance guarantees of up to Dh50 million for start-ups; a new committee to review lending options for local companies; and waiver of industrial and commercial penalties.

Separately, the Ministry of Economy and Abu Dhabi Ports unveiled plans to accelerate economic growth through the exchange of information and by attracting global investors.

The scope of collaboration includes strengthening trade relations between the UAE and its trade partners, supporting commercial missions and delegations abroad, as well as encouraging foreign trade and investment through joint seminars and workshops, according to a statement on Thursday.