March 10, 2020 / 10:15 AM / 23 days ago

UPDATE 1-DP World slashes fees at key Dubai business park

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DUBAI, March 10 (Reuters) - DP World on Tuesday slashed fees at one of Dubai’s biggest business parks, which it said would immediately benefit 7,500 companies, as the global coronavirus outbreak weighs on consumer confidence and business productivity.

Registration, licensing and related administrative functions at the DP World-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) have been cut by 50% to 70%, it said in a statement.

Jafza is one of many specialised ‘free zones’ in the United Arab Emirates where companies can be 100% foreign owned and benefit from some tax exemptions.

The Middle East’s biggest transshipment port, Jebel Ali Port, is adjacent to the free zone and operated by DP World.

Fees were being reduced following a recent call by Dubai’s crown prince to bring down business costs and improve investor experience, said Jafza Chief Executive Mohammed al-Muallem.

The UAE private sector deteriorated further last month, with output expectations dropping to a near-two-year low amid fears of the coronavirus’s impact on exports and supply chains, a March 3 survey showed. (Writing by Alexander Cornwell, editing by Louise Heavens)

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