COVID-19: UAE Government Initiatives & Business Stimulus Packages by Various Freezones

The COVID-19 has sowed the seeds of uncertainty across the world. Though it is too early to predict the potential impacts of the pandemic, the spread of the Coronavirus has led to economic and health uncertainties in all the countries across the world. However, the UAE government has shown commendable determination in putting up timely efforts to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the nationwide sterilization effort and allowing businesses to work remotely to limit the spread of the pandemic. The UAE government has also been quick into addressing the grievances of the business community in connection with the pandemic. The UAE Central Bank and various Free Zones have initiated several stimulus measures to shield the businesses from the potential impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Business Support Packages by Various UAE Freezone

The authorities of some of the top free zones in the UAE have come up with multi-pronged strategies to offer stimulus measures to the businesses. The package includes discounts on business setup costs, flexible payment options, waiver on license renewal penalties, etc.

1. Jafza (Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority)

To bring down the cost of business setup as well as doing business in Dubai, Jafza has taken a well-timed initiative to inspire its companies towards pursuing business targets with more confidence and determination. JAFZA has announced across the board reductions in license registration and administration costs for companies operating in Jebel Ali Free Zone as well as new investor who are willing to start a business in Dubai.

Core features of a discounted package by Jafza are:

  • 50 to 70% discount in registration, licensing & related administration fees
  • Creation of payment flexibility plan for DP world including Jafza, National industries park (NIP) and Dubai Auto Zone (DAZ)
  • Free online services to give a boost on Jafza digitalization process

For the information related to JAFZA business setup packages, process & requirements, see this link:
Company formation in JAFZA

 

2. Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC)

DMCC Free zone has announced a Business Support Package to support the business community and new investor who want to set up a business in Dubai. The following measures have been taken to boost the economic resilience of the UAE:

Incentives relating to new company registration in DMCC include:

  • 80% reduction on the total company set up fee if shareholders are residents of JLT
  • Up to 50% reduction on the total company set up fee, along with a Flexi Desk for 1 year
  • Flexible payment options for new DMCC Business Centre tenants
  • Complete digital process for business set up from the comfort of your home

Incentives relating to existing companies operating within the DMCC free zone include:

  • 100% waiver for late license renewal penalties
  • 100% waiver for all Flexi Desk and DMCC Business Centre penalties until the end of 2020
  • 100% waiver of the Office Sharing Permit & Company Reinstatement fee
  • 30% discount on license renewal
  • Waiver of outdoor area rents for JLT retailers with existing contracts
  • Waiver of rent for 2 months for commercial establishments impacted by the latest Dubai Economy directive requiring a temporary closure
  • 3-month suspension of rent for Flexi Desk and DMCC Business Centre tenants renewals or monthly/quarterly instalment with no discount

For the information related to DMCC business setup packages, process & requirements, see this link:
Company formation in DMCC

 

3. Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC)

To support the DIFC community and to back to business necessities of companies operating within the free zone, starting from April 1st, 2020 DIFC has taken the following measures under its ‘Business Stimulus Initiative’ for the next three months:

  • 3 months deferred payment on all leases
  • 100% waiver from annual licensing fees for new companies
  • 10% discount on renewal of license for existing companies
  • 4% to 5% reduction on property registration fees

For the information related to DIFC business setup packages, process & requirements, see this link:
Company formation in DIFC

 

4. Dubai World Trade Center Free Zone (DWTC)

In light of the recent developments driven by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), DWTCA is offering a 3-month temporary reduction in free zone business license and visa fees. The reduction is to support the economy and ensure DWTCA competitiveness throughout the economic turmoil.

Below are the highlights of the overview:

  • More than 50% discount on Hot Desk for Commercial, Professional & Event Licenses.
  • More than 70% discount on Executive offices for Commercial, Professional & Event Licenses
  • More than 60% discount on Standard offices for Commercial, Professional & Event Licenses More than 50% discount on Hot Desk, Standard & Executive Offices for General Trading license
  • More than 10% discount on a new visa, transfer of visa & 65% discount on renewal of visas

For the information related to DWTC business setup packages, process & requirements, see this link:
Company formation in DWTC

 

5. Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)

RAKEZ has launched RAKEZ SME Client Support Boosters, offering various incentives that aim to free you from your challenges and ensure business continuity during the current global situation.

  • 15% discount on total renewal package
  • 25% discount on new dependent visas
  • 100% waiver of late renewal penalties
  • 100% waiver of cheque postponement fees
  • 100% waiver of package downgrade fees
  • 100% waiver of activity change fees
  • 100% waiver of a security deposit for new visa requests
  • Flexible instalment options
  • Client Support Boosters are valid until 30 June 2020

For the information related to RAKEZ business setup packages, process & requirements, see this link:
Company formation in RAKEZ

6. Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD)

During the current situation, KIZAD provide a support/help to its existing and new clients, by offering a special discount on new and renewal license during Q2 (April, May and June).

  • Discount 15% on the License Renewal for the existing client (who already has a license in KIZAD and the renewal date is on April, May and June)
  • Discount 15% on the New 1 Year License, plus Q2 2020 free of charge
  • Discount 20% on the New 2 Year License, plus Q2 2020 free of charge
  • Discount 25% on the New 3 Year License, plus Q2 2020 free of charge

For the information related to KIZAD business setup packages, process & requirements, see this link:
Company formation in KIZAD

7. Ajman Free Zone (AFZ)

Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) is here to support you with the launch of new incentive packages. AFZ make sure to keep you secure in all aspects of running your existing businesses.

  • 100% waiver cheque service fees
  • 50% reduction stacked fines
  • 25% reduction in labour accommodation
  • 6 months installment plan benefits
  • Exemption from delayed fines
  • 100% waiver e-channel smart service fees

For the information related to AFZ business setup packages, process & requirements, see this link:
Company formation in AFZ

 

8. Ajman Media City Free Zone (AMCFZ)

The desire of the Ajman Media City’s administration to reduce the business loads of its investors and provide the necessary support to them, the free zone administration decided the following:

  • Waive all the rent fines due to non-renewal of lease contracts for all valid and expired contracts for the companies that will renew until the end of April 2020.
  • Refund all rental guarantees that had been paid by the investors and stop collecting rent guarantees until the end of the year 2020.
  • Issuing a NOCs for the movement of the employees and workers between companies in the Media City without fines until the end of 2020.

For the information related to AMCFZ business setup packages, process & requirements, see this link:
Company formation in AMCFZ

 

9. Sharjah Media City (SHAMS)

Big Discounts on packages and steps in forming your business license with SHAMS free zone.

  • 20% discount on all visa packages starting 22nd March 2020 to 23rd April 2020.
  • 2 Free additional activities with all license packages. This is applicable for zero visa and all visa packages.
  • 50% discount on license fees for Media packages starting from AED 5750 for zero visas and one visa package AED 9425.
  • During renewals, there won’t be any additional charge for these additional activities.
  • E-channel deposit waiver of AED 5000 for all visa packages on new licenses.
  • A discount of 20% on 2 years package, 25% on 3 years package and 35% on 5 years package.
  • Ability to combine General Trading and Service activities under the same license for all packages.

For the information related to SHAMS business setup packages, process & requirements, see this link:
Company formation in SHAMS free zone

 

10. Hamriyah Free Zone (Sharjah)

Hamriyah free zone offers the following concessions during license renewal under the current circumstances:

  • A flat 20 % discounts on the rental for all packages, warehouse & Land.
  • Incorporation fees waived off 50% for new companies.
  • License fees waived off 100% for 1st year.
  • Service charges waived off 50% for the 1st year.
  • Security deposit AED 5000 to be deferred till license renewal next year.
  • Please note that the current offer is only valid from 1st April to 30th June 2020.

For the information related to HFZ business setup packages, process & requirements, see this link:
Company formation in HFZ

 

11. Creative City Fujairah

The creative free zone is offering the below promotions for new company registrations due to the current difficult situations resulting from COVID-19:

For new company formation:

  • One Visa Free of Cost for the following packages – Freelancer Company, Baby Business and GENIUS
  • E-Channel deposit of AED 5,000 waived

For existing companies:

  • One-year validity: 15% discount against license renewal (applicable for ALL PACKAGES)
  • Two-year license validity: full fee for the first year, with 50% discount for the second year (applicable for ALL PACKAGES)
  • WAIVER on license penalty
  • one activity free of charge

For the information related to Creative City Fujairah business setup packages, process & requirements, see this link:
Company formation in Creative City Fujairah

 

12. International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)

  • Currently, IFZA is offering a discount in 1 visa package.
  • 1 visa license package is AED 15,700 however IFZA is offering this for AED
  • 11,500 now.
  • This promotion is valid until 23rd April.

For the information related to IFZA business setup packages, process & requirements, see this link:
Company formation in IFZA

 

13. UAQ Free Trade Zone

Umm Al Quwain, to extend a helping hand to its investors for sustaining their businesses in Umm Al Quwain, UAQ FTZ have created an investor support plan that includes:

  • Three months free bonus on license & lease renewal. Applicable until 14th July 2020 for business centre clients
  • Absolutely no renewal fines on late license renewal payment for 3 months until 15th July 2020.
  • All our business centre packages have been upgraded with additional visa eligibility, whereby the investors can obtain added support from their business partners or employees.
  • The plan adds up to a total cost savings of more than 25%.

For the information related to UAQ FTZ business setup packages, process & requirements, see this link:
Company formation in UAE FTZ

 

COVID-19 Update for UAE Business Community:

  • Economic Stimulus Package by UAE Central Bank

The UAE Central Bank has announced a Targeted Economic Support Scheme worth AED 100bn to minimize the Coronavirus impact by bolstering the local economy and protecting the banking system. The stimulus package will help the banks support the borrowers who are facing liquidity issues.

  • Expired Residency Permit, Visit Visas and Emirates ID Remain Valid till 31st December 2020

Since the UAE battles the coronavirus pandemic, UAE Government announced that all type of entry permits, residency visas & Emirates ID  that expired after March 1, 2020, are automatically been extended until the end of December 2020

Useful Websites in UAE Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Official Updates Coronavirus | COVID-19 In The UAE‎
https://www.mohap.gov.ae/en/AwarenessCenter/Pages/COVID-19.aspx

Movement Permit Registration in Dubai
https://dxbpermit.gov.ae/home

Coronavirus (COVID-19) UAE Tracker‎
https://covid19.ncema.gov.ae/en

For any medical support or inquiry, please contact:
“Estijaba” service at the operation center – Department of Health at 8001717
Ministry of Health & Prevention at 80011111
Dubai Health Authority at 800342

Final thoughts

The coronavirus pandemic has startled the governments across the world because of the lightning speed with which the pandemic spread among the people. However, the UAE authorities proactively initiated early stimulus measures keeping an eye on the future of the businesses also. The big stimulus package by the UAE central bank and the discounts and incentives offered by many free zones are a much needed shot in the arm for the business community. The timely measures taken by the UAE authorities signal a powerful ray of hope for the businessmen and the general public.

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