Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) on Sunday announced a package of incentives, exemptions and flexible payment plans for companies, commercial tenants and residents to help them cope with the impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The authority waived three months of rent for retail sector including restaurants, shops, gyms, etc from March 15, 2020 and ending once the government allows retail outlets to reopen.

It also exempt them 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 retailers 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 installments, and leverage their visa security deposits to pay off their financial dues to Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority.

Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, vice-chairman and CEO of DSOA, said the exemptions and incentives will ensure business continuity of private companies and enhance their agility and resilience in dealing with the global effects of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Benefits for DTEC startups

The authority also approved a package of incentive measures for startups based at Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (DTEC), which includes a waiver of all late payment and overstay fines until August 31, 2020.

It also offered 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 installments, in addition to leveraging their visa security deposits to pay off their financial dues to DSOA.

It 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.

It 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.

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.

For residents

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.

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