UAE retailers’ reactions to rent relief

March 23, 2020 | By Rupkatha B

In the UAE, many real estate developers have announced rent relief and stimulus packages to support retail tenants and partners amidst the on-going COVID-19 crisis that is severely impacting businesses around the world.

While Abu Dhabi-based ALDAR has announced AED100 million as stimulus package, International Capital Trading (ICT) has also announced a series of initiatives aimed at supporting all tenants, partners and suppliers across its real estate portfolio. In Dubai, Al-Futtaim Group – portfolio including Dubai Festival City Mall and Festival Plaza – has announced a three-month rent-free period for retail tenants to ease the financial burden. Meanwhile, Dubai Holding and Meraas have announced AED1 billion as economic relief package to support existing partners across their portfolio.

In the wake of these developments we spoke to UAE-based retail groups to gauge their reactions towards the above moves.

“Whilst any rent relief and stimulus by landlords is welcome, it must be proportionate to already granted incentives. Many large groups already have huge incentives in place and those should be considered,” stated Mark Tesseyman, CEO, LIWA Trading Enterprises. “If mid and smaller groups are not supported to survive, there is a risk of many brands disappearing from certain shopping malls entirely. And this will create a very bland landscape with no differentiation from one mall to another.”

“We have to read the fine print of the rent relief (announced by Al-Futtaim), as they are evaluating ‘eligible tenants’ for this stimulus,” said Sajan Alex, vice president, Tablez Food Company. The company’s portfolio includes restaurants like Peppermill, Famous Dave’s that are present in Dubai Festival City, Festival Plaza as well as The Dubai Mall. “In the current situation, a lot of businesses are already bleeding. Think about it – alongside rent, we also have other fixed costs.”

Meanwhile, through comments on LinkedIn, Naim Maadad, chief executive and founder of Gates Hospitality hailed the move as “amazing” and a good initiative undertaken by landlords. “It is time for all stakeholders to shoulder their part of the survival equation and that doesn’t exclude anyone,” he said.

While Ishwar Chugani, managing director of Giordano Middle East called it “a step in the right direction.”



Previous Article Next Article


Nando’s has revealed their revamped Sheikh Zayed Road outlet where newcomers and 

Continue Reading

July 8, 2021 | By Jibran Chouguley

UAE-based Al Maya Group announced that it will be boosting import of 

Continue Reading

June 24, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

UAE-based grocery retail chain, Grandiose has opened its first hypermarket in Abu 

Continue Reading

June 2, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

UAE-based Carrefour announced its theme and plans for Ramadan 2021. The brand 

Continue Reading

March 31, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

Locally owned supermarket Spinneys celebrates 60 years of doing business in the 

Continue Reading

March 9, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau
Almarai, Carrefour, Emirates have the most loyal customers

UAE-based Carrefour will become the first retailer in the region to offer new levels 

Continue Reading

February 22, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

The Organic Farmers’ Market is back in Bay Avenue for its 12th 

Continue Reading

February 17, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

UAE-based  Lulu Group recently inaugurated its first-ever all-female staff store in Jeddah, 

Continue Reading

February 15, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau
Jones the grocer

Jones the Grocer, the gourmet grocer and cheese retailer launches the Jones 

Continue Reading

February 1, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

UAE-based Al Maya Supermarkets is hosting a two-week food festival at select 

Continue Reading

January 17, 2021 | By Lawrence Pinto

Locally-owned supermarket Spinneys has launched its ‘Power of Plants’ initiative in the 

Continue Reading

January 17, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

Carrefour UAE has launched “Cookit Yourself” — a curated recipe box created 

Continue Reading

January 5, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

Download Images RetailME Magazine