Abu Dhabi announces partial refund for restaurant and tourism property leases

DUBAI, May 11 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi has announced a 20% refund on annual commercial property leases for restaurants and for tourism and entertainment facilities, state news agency WAM reported on Monday.

Eligible businesses will have to apply online for the refund, which is calculated against fixed rental costs, WAM reported, citing the emirate’s department of economic development.

The report did not say who would bear the cost of the refund or whether the government would compensate landlords.

The refund scheme is aimed at easing pressure on businesses affected by government measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, WAM said.

The United Arab Emirates last month began easing restrictions on businesses, allowing shopping centres and restaurants to reopen under limited capacity.

Hotels are excluded from the refund scheme. (Writing by Alexander Cornwell Editing by David Goodman)