The number of business licenses issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED) reached 18,757 in 2013, an increase of 12 per cent over the 16,791 licenses issued in 2012, reaffirming rising investor confidence in Dubai as a thriving business hub.
Sector-wise, Professional licenses showed the biggest increase of 18 per cent year-on-year in a further indication of Dubai’s rising appeal as a services centre while Commercial licenses grew by 10 per cent and Industrial licenses by four per cent. Licensing in Tourism sector remained stable.
Commenting on the rise in number of licenses Mohammed Shael Al Saadi, Chief Executive Officer of Business Registration and Licensing (BRL) sector in DED said Dubai enhancing its appeal among investors proved that the emirate is taking the right steps to improve ease of doing business and capitalise on its competitiveness.
“With the ‘Smart City’ vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, we will witness a new level of competitiveness. DED will ensure that our customers benefit from this vision,” added Shaal.
A total of 112,487 licenses - up eight per cent from 2012 - were renewed in 2013 while the number of amended licenses increased nine per cent to 74,061. Initial approvals rose 15 per cent to reach 33,729 while reserved trade names also rose 15 per cent to 74,750. The total number of BRL transactions in 2013 was 615,533, up four percent from the previous year.
The number of licenses issued to companies according to legal status reached 18,755 in 2013. Limited liability companies (LLCs) topped the list at 12,240, showing a growth of 11 per cent from the 11,039 recorded in 2012. Sole proprietorship licenses increased from 4,711 in 2012 to 5,375 – or 14 per cent – last year.
The number of foreign nationals obtaining licenses in 2013 was 111 compared to 102 in 2012 and British nationals accounted for the biggest share of 14 licenses. US, Lebanese, Indian and Swiss nationals were among the other leading foreign investors in Dubai last year.
The top ten business activities licensed in Dubai in 2013 accounted for 24 per cent, or 14,727 in a total of 61,041, in 2013 as against 14,484 in a total of 59,452 in 2012. General trade led the list of the top 10 licensed activities, raising its share to 2,554 from 2,293 in 2012. Reflecting the improvements in construction activity dyes & paints, carpentry and flooring & tiling were the main activities that were on a flourish last year.