WAM: UAE Press: Private sector must come to the aid of people

UAE Press

ABU DHABI, 30th March, 2020 (WAM) — In its editorial today, Gulf News said that Dubai free zones’ decision to postpone the rents for six months is a “significant help” to businesses as the coronavirus outbreak continues to cripple the economic activities worldwide.

“It is part of the UAE’s efforts to contain the impact of the pandemic on every level,” the paper noted, saying that since the early days of the outbreak, the UAE has been at the forefront in mitigating the risks. These free zone incentives will apply for the period from 1st April.

Dr. Mohammed Al Zarouni, Vice-Chairman and CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and Director-General of Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority, Dafza, was quoted as saying, “Through its initiatives, Dubai is proving its ability to mitigate the negative effects of the crisis and speed up the revival of its economy, with future positive returns for the emirate and the region, in addition to the preventive measures it has taken to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

The move also comes in the wake of several initiatives by the federal and local governments to set stimulus packages to help the economy overcome the pandemic fallouts, Dubai-based English language newspaper added.

In addition, few major private sector landlords have done their part in offering some relief to their business tenants, especially the small and medium businesses, which naturally face the brunt of the economic slowdown.

“But other private sector landlords have yet to step forward and do their part, especially the major developers who enjoy the largest share of the real estate market, for business and residential clients,” the paper wrote.

“The crisis will surely end. But for the time being, it is affecting all the aspects of life. Businesses around the world are shutting down and millions of people are losing their jobs. In the UAE, we might be in better shape than many others. However, there is no doubt that our private sector is reeling under the economic downturn and people will lose jobs or at least some of their pay.

“This is the time developers came to the aid of SMEs and families. By offering urgent relief, in rent deferrals, these developers will be actually helping our economy withstand this global crisis. There is an urgent need to help the SMEs as they are the core of any economic system. By keeping them in business, the economic recovery will be faster and stronger. That will also mean jobs are secured.

“Containing the pandemic’s economic impact is not just a government burden. It is a collective action. The private sector must play a role in it,” the paper concluded.

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