Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) has undertaken several programmes and schemes to assist companies, entrepreneurs and residents within DSO to deal with the effects of the Covid-9 pandemic. Here are the initiatives that have been implemented:
DSOA provided rent waivers to retailers in its buildings, including restaurants, shops, and gyms until they were allowed to reopen. Several companies and tenants received exemption of late payment charges until August 31. Other incentives for retailers included a 10 per cent off on the rental value upon renewal, and an additional 5 per cent discount on the annual rent, when rent is paid on time and in one instalment. Moreover, 25 per cent discount was given on marketing charges and deferred payment allowed up to three months. Retail business owners also have options to settle their outstanding fees in instalments and leverage their visa security deposits to pay off their financial dues to DSOA.
For startups based at Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), DSOA offered a waiver on all late payment and overstay fines until August 31. It also offered deferred rent payments for up to three months and a five per cent discount on annual rent when it is paid on time and as one deposit. Upon renewal of their tenancy contracts, flexi desk and fixed desk, tenants have an option to pay their rents in six instalments.
Flexible payment schemes were offered to companies operating from its buildings. From April 2020, companies had options to defer rent payments for three months, and spread their costs over six months following the expiry of the postponement date, depending on the agreement with DSOA’s finance department.
Moreover, DSOA provided exemptions on cheque retrieval fees, pardoned first-time offenders’ on bounced check fees, and issued a waiver on all late payment fees until August 31. The Authority is granting a five per cent discount on the annual rent when it is paid on time and in one deposit, and customers have the option to use their visa security deposits to pay off their rental financial dues.
For new companies that established their offices in DSO, there was a grace period on monthly rent payments until the end of May, and 10 per cent off on monthly rents.
The existing residential tenants have the option to pay their rents monthly and opt for DSOA’s new rental structure. DSOA allowed deferring of new and existing lease payments for up to two months, providing flexible payment plans for the remainder of the lease duration and waived cheque retrieval fees on bounced checks for first offenders. Residential villa tenants obtain a discount of Dh5,000, and other residential tenants receive a discount of Dh2,000 if they pay the annual rent in a single deposit.
DSOA has established a disinfection drive at the integrated technology park, to maintain the safety and wellbeing of its community. In the first two weeks of the initiative that started in April, DSOA covered 15 kilometres of roads and infrastructure, two villa communities made up of 1,767 units, as well as public spaces and community centres, and 20 bus shelters at the hi-tech park. Additionally, it disinfected hundreds of offices, shopping centres, mosques, prayer halls, public parks, jogging tracks, and common areas, as well as other residential and commercial buildings across DSO. Under the slogan “Your Safety is our Priority”, DSOA has developed an in-house disinfection tunnel to protect the health and safety of its employees, customers, residents and the broader community at the hi-tech park. The tunnel sprays a mist that disinfects the clothes of all those who pass through it. The disinfection tunnel is frequently used by DSOA’s facilities management operations teams and the essential and approved service providers during their daily check-in and check-out from work, and while visiting clients or tenants to perform any maintenance jobs.
The security personnel across DSO wear a KC N901 smart helmet, designed to conduct a contactless, rapid screening of the temperatures of single-persons, or crowds, in real-time, both indoors and outdoors. It provides an accurate temperature reading at long distances. This is in line with DSO’s commitment to provide the safety and look after the wellbeing of its community and ensures the efficient continuation of business operations.
DSO is providing free tele-maternity advisory services exclusively to its community with the support of Fakeeh Home Health Care, a subsidiary of the DSO-based Fakeeh University Hospital. Mother and baby care advisory services are provided through AV-technology to women in the DSO community during their pregnancy and throughout the essential initial weeks following delivery free of charge. These initiatives have helped the community come together and overcome the challenges brought about by the pandemic.