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19 April 2024

Dubai warehouses can't be used as kitchens or staff housing

By Parag Deulgaonkar

To curb misuse of warehouses as kitchens, shelters for company staff, or places for trading in fake goods, Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED) has asked all commercial licence holders in the UAE to get permits for their warehouses in Dubai within the next six months except those in free zones.

DED’s Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) and the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) departments will co-ordinate to ensure compliance with the new procedure and include warehouses in BRL’s electronic database.

Omar Al Meheiri, Director of the Development & Follow-up Department in CCCP, said the new procedure will help curb illegal activities, including trading in fake products, and reminded licence holders that failure to obtain permits for warehouses will invite legal action.

“Warehouses should also meet certain conditions and standards. They should have a signboard with the word ‘warehouse’ in Arabic and English and such facilities should not store goods not mentioned in the activity list of the commercial licence,” Meheiri said.

During the boom days, a number of companies rented out warehouses in Dubai at low rents on long-term contracts. These companies would then run a full-fledged business, use part of the premises as staff accommodation, or sub lease space to run commercial canteens.

According to DED, those operating warehouses in Dubai can apply for the permit provided they hold a valid commercial licence issued in any emirate in the UAE.

The new procedure, the department says, will enable DED to gather and maintain accurate data on warehouses and storage facilities.

Ahmed Ibrahim, Director of Business Registration at BRL, said: “The target is to have all warehouses included in the BRL database within one year. Permits will be available at the Commercial Permits section of DED offices in Business Village, Al Tawar and Dubai Mall.”

The application for permits should be accompanied by a copy of the active commercial licence, list of the warehouses belonging to the establishment and tenancy contract of each warehouse registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency.

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