Jebel Ali Free Zone offers incentives to help companies resume operations

The new measures include short-term rental options and flexible rent payment terms to help companies adjust to a post-pandemic economy

A terminal tractor passes in front of a stock yard of DP World's fully automated Terminal 2 at Jebel Ali Port in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 27, 2018. Picture taken December 27, 2018. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Dubai's Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), one of the biggest trading hubs in the region, is introducing a range of incentives to support companies that are restarting operations as coronavirus-related restrictions ease in the emirate.

Existing and new customers will be able to lease warehouses on a short-term basis, with no value-added tax or customs duties, Jafza said in a statement on Wednesday.

Companies can lease Jafza warehouses ranging from 300 sqm to 15,000 sqm in size, with free water and electricity as part of the package.

Jafza also introduced flexible terms like monthly rental payments and offered to defer payments for tenants currently leasing its warehouse facilities.

“We’re working on customised solutions for a post-pandemic trading world in which our customers pay less for more value-added service support across-the-board," Mohammed Al Muallem, chief executive and managing director of DP World, UAE Region and chief executive of Jafza, said.

"New business and existing companies will find our investor-friendly, back-to-business ecosystem built around the emerging needs of the markets in a growth climate beyond the pandemic.”

Jafza accounts for 23.9 per cent of total foreign direct investment flow ‎into Dubai, providing employment to more than 135,000 people. In 2018, Jafza generated trade worth $93 billion (Dh341.5bn).

In March, the free zone slashed business-related fees by up to 70 per cent for companies operating within it.

Free zones across the UAE are offering investor-friendly terms to companies as the country gradually reopens the economy as Covid-19 cases reduce.

Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad), a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports, rolled out new relief packages that provide up to 36 per cent savings for businesses operating in the freezone in an effort to support its customers amid Covid-19.

The new measures, available to both existing and prospective customers, offer savings of up to 25 per cent on new registrations and renewals while security deposit charges will be waived, Kizad said last month.

The Dubai Airport Freezone Authority introduced a set of economic incentives to help mitigate the impact of coronavirus on businesses operating in the free zone in April.

The initiatives included the postponement of lease payments for up to three months and allowing other financial payments to be made in instalments. The free zone also refunded security deposits on leased spaces and labour guarantees to companies.

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