By Lubna Hamdan
Mall operator Majid Al Futtaim waived rent for tenants for duration of closures
The Dubai Mall operator Emaar Malls has deferred rent for some retailers who remain closed in line with Covid-19 safety measures.
In a letter to tenants dated March 29, the company said it will not cash tenants’ cheques due on March 25, 2020 and onwards until further notice.
"Considering the current conditions and the recent government directions in respect of activities in all malls and commercial centers, we are very keen on alleviating some of the burdens imposed upon all of us.
"Having considered all factors, we will defer collection of rent cheques received from those tenants whose cheques fall due on 25th March 2020 onwards and until further notice from the government,” the letter said.
The Dubai Mall is Emaar Malls' flagship asset and is located at the base of the Burj Khalifa, the city’s main tourist attraction.
The company's e-commerce platform Noon has seen a surge in home deliveries in the UAE and Saudi Arabia as people spend more time at home.
Emaar opened a Dubai Mall virtual store on Noon to help its brick and mortar retailers, whose revenues had been wiped out, but requires them to pay a fee to be featured on the website.
Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar in April also announced he has taken a 100% pay cut as part of a new salary structure implemented across all levels and entities to “secure the continuity of the business” amid the Covid-19 crisis.
On Tuesday, Emaar Malls rival Majid Al Futtaim, which operates Mall of the Emirates, announced it was waiving rent fees for its tenants for the duration of the Covid-19 government mandated store closures.
In a statement to Arabian Business, it said it is keen to help retailers retain working capital while the shopping malls are closed.
The coronavirus has sunk the global economy into the worst crisis since the Great Depression, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva last week, with growth set to turn sharply negative in 2020.
The UAE currently has 5,365 confirmed virus cases, with 1,034 recoveries and 33 deaths.