Combating Covid-19: Economic Free Zones in Dubai

When it comes to assessing the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and devising strategies to combat the same, the Dubai Government is not far behind. It has already started taking decisive steps and is on its foot to aid businesses in growth and expansion.

Behind these financial strategies, the primary aim of the government is to maintain the cash flow in the market and to make sure that the businesses are able to carry on with their operations as swiftly as possible, during and after the pandemic. Here, if we are to make the data speak for itself, currently, Dubai has 44,985 free zone companies who boost the region’s GDP by creating 389,336 jobs which again amount to 33% contribution to the region’s overall GDP calculation.

This is not the only activity or strategy deployed by the government. This is accompanied by another economic package worth AED1.5 billion which has been brought forward by the Dubai Government with three aims.

  • To check the issue of unpaid leave and by doing so help the companies to hire the workers back.
  • To reduce business costs.
  • To better the issue of financial liquidity for companies based in free zones.

In Dubai, new initiatives are being taken and some measures have been applied which are to start from 1st April to 30th June 2020. To give you a better understanding of these, we will discuss the five key points that are underlined in these measures.

  • Abolition of fines for both companies and individuals.
  • Refund of security deposits and guarantees.
  • Permission to defer rent payment by a period of six months.
  • Allowing installments for payments.
  • Sanctioning temporary contacts to allow the free movement of labor between companies based on free zones for the year 2020

In an official statement released by the Dubai Government, it has been pointed out that the exceptional circumstances have required the Dubai free zones to work together and focus on their strategic role as well as to continue with their social responsibility with a vision to expand Dubai’s economy.

In case you are wondering about the entities which come under the stimulus package, here’s a list to put an end to all speculations:

  • Dubai South
  • Meydan City corporation
  • Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)
  • Jebel Ali Free Zone
  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority
  • Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority
  • Dubai World Trade Centre
  • Dubai Development Authority (DDA)

To give you an idea about the different incentives that the free zones are on board with, we bring to you the following list.

The Plan and Packages of the Different Zones

The following are the zone-wise lists of the plans and packages in free zones across Dubai.

DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre)

  • Implementation of five initiatives over the next three months.
  • Waiving annual license fees for new companies in the next three months.
  • 10% discount on renewal fees for existing licenses of the other companies within the next three months.
  • Postponements of all payment plans for DIFC investment’s commercial properties for a period of six months.
  • Reduction of its own transfer fees from 5% to 4% for every property sale happening within the authorized period of three months. (To avail this, the ownership transfer should be registered with DIFC within 30 days after the end of the three month period.)

DDA (Dubai Development Authority) & TECOM Group

  • Giving permission to companies for postponement of payments.
  • Allowing new firms to delay their lease periods along with the cancellation of their registration fees for a period of six months.
  • Abolition of all fines on expired licenses and other financial and administrative fees.
  • Offering flexible fee payments, building licenses, and services included.
  • Refund of security deposits and guarantees.

The Dubai Aviation City Corporation & Dubai South

  • Fees waiver on expired licenses and residential land.
  • Usage of monthly checks for payment facilitation.
  • Exemption of license fees for the first year.

Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA)

  • Canceling fines on all expired trade licenses.

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)

  • Offering a 30% discount on license renewal fees.
  • Waiver of late license renewal penalties along with office sharing permit fee & company reinstatement fees.
  • Discount on outdoor area rents for JLT retailers. (Only if the building is owned by DMCC).
  • Withdrawal of all penalties of Flexi-desk and DMCC business centers until the end of 2020.
  • Commercial establishments requiring a temporary closure would be given a waiver of two month’s rent. (Only if DMCC is the building owner or landlord).
  • DMCC Business center tenants renewal and Flexi Desk rent suspended for three months along with the permission for monthly/quarterly installment with no discount.

Moreover, new registrations and companies which have already started with their registration with DMCC are entitled to the following benefits:

  • Availing complete digital procedure for business set up.
  • Upto 50% reduction on the total company set up fee plus Flexi desk for one year.
  • 80% discount on the total company set up fee (Only if the shareholders are residents of JLT).
  • Flexibility with regard to payment options for new DMCC business center tenants.

At, Huriya Private, we are committed to giving our clients the latest updates regarding all the legislations and regulations in all the free zones. Get in touch with us to know in detail about the different free zones that would be best suited for your enterprise and we would ensure that you kickstart your business with comfort and continue to make the highest profit.