Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED) issued 9,979 new licences in 2010. Out of those 8,772 are commercial, 893 professional, 161 vocational, 146 creative, 6 industrial, and one agricultural and animal livestock.
The registered commercial licences totalled 102,063 by end of last year, DED announced on Tuesday.
According to the annual report by Commercial Licenses Directorate, which is part of the DED's Commercial Affairs Section, 67,829 licenses were renewed last year: 47,704 commercial, 17,603 professional, 2,241 vocational, 257 creative, 21 industrial, and 3 for agricultural, fish and animal livestock activity licenses.
Aisha Al Zaabi, CEO of Commercial Affairs at the DED, stated that rapidly-growing landscape of commercial activities in Abu Dhabi bears witness to the huge interest of businessmen and local and foreign investors to operate in Abu Dhabi, which, empowered by world-class administrational and legislative systems, has achieved a remarkable progress in the global competitiveness reports.
"The DED strives to streamline an emirate-wide commercial activities system by adopting world-class business practices that are in line with the objectives of Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030".
"The general index for the Commercial Affairs Section with regards to commercial licenses for 2010 highlights high demands for various commercial activities by local and foreign businessmen. Such high level of growth has been fuelled by a package of facilities and procedures implemented by the DED with an aim to expedite license approval process for any commercial activity", she added.
The report also highlights the type of commercial licenses and their legal framework. In 2010, the total number of individual companies was 6,106 while 48,332 companies were renewed. 2,322 Limited Liability Companies (LLC) were licensed last year compared to 12,436 that had their licenses renewed.
The DED's report indicates that five new licences were issued to privately joint companies and 66 other companies were renewed. The DED licensed five new publicly joint companies and 103 others were renewed last year.
Highlighting the growing interest of GCC companies to expand in Abu Dhabi, Al Zaabi stressed that 19 new licences have been granted to GCC companies, and 117 were renewed. On the other hand, 205 branch licenses for foreign companies were issued in 2010 and 823 renewed.
483 licences for company branches from other emirates were granted, 1,539 renewed, in addition to licensing 806 new local companies, and renewing 3,143 others.
The DED's report also shows that seven new branches of free zones were licensed in 2010 and nine renewed, two corporate societies were licensed and six renewed. One joint venture, 88 professional companies and 127 vocational had their licenses renewed.
The report also highlighted that Commercial License Directorate cancelled 2,117 in 2010 owing to various reasons, mainly by the will of their owners, which leads to some administrational and legal procedures. Other reasons for cancellation are a result from failure to renew licenses for a period of three years.