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Sun 10 Feb 2008 01:56 AM

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Rent relief for Dubai entrepreneurs

Small businesses given 20% discount on commercial leases in move to encourage new talent.

Young entrepreneurs in Dubai are to receive a 20% reduction in rents in a move to foster the development of new business talent in the emirate, Dubai Real Estate Corporation (DREC) said on Saturday.

Members of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders will be given a 20% discount on the lease of commercial premises owned by DREC, the company said.

More than 3,000 organisations along with 1,000 individual members will benefit from the agreement which aims to encourage UAE entrepreneurs to “contribute to the future of their country”, DREC said in a statement.

Dubai has emerged as the world’s ninth most expensive city for office space, according to a recent study by CB Richard Ellis. At 321.75 dirhams ($88) per square foot, commercial rents have increased by 40% over the past 12 months, the statement said.

Rentals generally account for 20-25% of the overall start-up costs in any business, said Hesham Al Qassim, CEO of DREC, adding the initiative aimed to “reduce this burden which can be a deterrent to ambitious entrepreneurs”.

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders, said, "We genuinely appreciate this gesture from DREC, which owns substantial real estate assets in Dubai, and invite entrepreneurs to take full advantage of its business enabling initiative and support”.

“The agreement will prove to be an effective catalyst for UAE national entrepreneurs and encourage more young business leaders with the ability to emulate other successful businessmen”, he added.

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