Dubai World Trade Centre Authority Acts Decisively
Taking stock of the global turbulence, and recessionary pressures triggered by the rapidly evolving context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) unveiled a series of impactful measures to aid sustainability of businesses within its ecosystem, in alignment with the city’s stimulus package recently announced under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA), announced a comprehensive support programme covering key sectors associated with the DWTCA portfolio - Meetings Incentives Conferences and Exhibitions [MICE], Free Zone [FZ], Retail and Commercial Real Estate - providing critical remedial aid to tackle some the most immediate challenges faced by clients and vendors, in particular the most vulnerable and deepest hit businesses. Commenting on the initiative, His Highness explained, “Dubai’s economy is built for resilience in scenarios of extreme global volatility and unprecedented uncertainty. Under the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, our city continues to deliver expedient and concerted societal action, harnessing the collective efforts of government, business and the community, to ensure economic stability in today’s climate.
DWTCA has been working actively with all stakeholders over the past weeks to support sectoral needs, and these latest measures are an enablement of broader financial relief to enable business continuity, and operational sustainability for entities housed within the FZ complex”.
DWTCA COVID-19 Extraordinary Measures Programme covers various categories of actions, to provide timely assistance, especially to smaller scale businesses, and core sectors across business tourism and events. To ensure accelerated return to normalcy, many of the key highlights outlined below have already been activated:
For organisers - Zero  cancellation and/or rescheduling fees; No penalties for late payments; Allow carry forward of pre-paid fees as credit to 2021; and
For exhibitors (DWTC-owned exhibitions) - Full refund on cancelled events and where new schedule is not feasible for participants
Up to 6-months rent-free on base rent [April – Sept 2020] for retail tenants in the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre and One Central, impacted by mandatory public lock-down restrictions – eg. Government enforced cancellations, and/ or temporary facility closures.
SMEs and START-UP TENANTS:
Up to 3-month base rent deferment for DWTCA commercial tenants [April-June 2020]
FREE ZONE BUSINESSES [effective for 3 months starting April to June 2020]:
70% rebate on annual fees for all category-specific business registrations and licenses [new and renewal];
50% rebate on annual fees for general trade licenses and registrations; and
0% administration fee on all visas - new, transfer and renewals
Measures above are aimed at supporting enterprises within the DWTCA ecosystem to better manage their fixed operating costs, and liquidity amidst loss of activity due to stringent public health related restrictions and business closures.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre Authority and Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said:
"Guided by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, when he declared coronavirus as much ‘an economic virus as a health one’, and the imminent ‘need for unity, cooperation and solidarity to protect our economy and confidently combat this global crisis’, DWTC is grateful for the unfailing backing of our leadership and our Board in introducing these hard-hitting, and urgent remedial measures for business resilience.
As a foundational pillar of the emirate’s business tourism industry, we seek to assist our stakeholders navigate the COVID-19 circumstantial risks, preserve financial viability, and manage operational sustainability for the interim until conditions normalise. The actions unveiled today are designed to significantly subsidise the cost of doing business within the DWTCA free zone complex for those most impacted – especially the smaller players and those in the MICE ecosystem, offering assistance to our clients, partners and suppliers.
Even as we work towards active recovery, and acceleration of the economic contributions of business tourism to Dubai’s GDP, we continue to diligently prioritise protecting the health and safety of our people and our communities. These factors remain integral to our core values as a business, and we are deeply appreciative of the trust and confidence that the industry has shown in us and in Dubai, as we work together to tackle this global crisis.”
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