By Sam Bridge
Retailers affected by business disruption and slowdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic will get up to three months rent relief
Al-Futtaim Group on Thursday announced it has set up a fund of AED100 million ($27 million) to help ease the financial burden of its retail tenants during the coronavirus crisis.
Retailers affected by business disruption and slowdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic will get up to three months’ rent relief in an effort to aid the recovery of their businesses in the UAE.
The announcement came as the UAE reported 27 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the country's total to 140.
Al-Futtaim Group’s mall portfolio in the UAE comprises of Dubai Festival City Mall and the newly opened Festival Plaza mall.
Over the last week, a taskforce has been established to examine how Al-Futtaim could support its retail tenants and to develop effective measures to help them.
Timothy Earnest, group director, Al-Futtaim Malls said: "In these unprecedented times, we understand the difficulties faced by the businesses and the impact this current situation is having on our economy.
"As a business deeply attached to the wellbeing of the UAE, we have a role to play and have committed ourselves to finding ways to support while the malls remain open. We hope this contribution will help pave way for business continuity in this difficult environment.”
He added: “Our tenants are of utmost importance to us always, but even more so in this challenging time. It is our duty to provide guidance and assistance to them in this time of need. All tenants will be contacted in the coming days by dedicated mall teams to discuss their individual requirements and process for relief.”
Separately, Dubai Outlet Mall on Thursday announced it has decided to temporarily reduce mall timings with effect from Thursday until further notice as part of measures to try to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Timings on Thursday and Friday will be midday to 10pm and from Saturday to Wednesday the mall will be open from midday to 8pm.