Up to 540,359 business activity licenses were issued by the end of December 2018, circa 1.6 percent up from August of the same year, according to the Ministry of Economy's statistics.
The growth reflects the uplift recorded since the beginning of the year across all economic platforms in a way that will spur the GDP, which is projected to hit 2.4 percent, the highest since 2016, according to the Central Bank of the UAE forecasts.
In more detail, Abu Dhabi and Dubai registered 379,675 companies, which accounted for 70.2 percent of the total licenses issued by the end of December, according to the Ministry's statistics, with Abu Dhabi issuing 126,095 and Dubai 253,580 thereof by the end of December.
In Abu Dhabi, 79,458 individual institutions were registered, in addition to 26,050 limited liability companies and 17,639 branches for Gulf companies, with the remaining licenses distributed over public & private joint stock and one-person companies In Dubai, limited liability companies got the lion's share of issued licenses at a total of 173,313, followed by individual institutions, 73271, with 2,711 licenses having been issued for one-person companies. In addition, a total of 2,146 foreign companies and 894 branches for Gulf companies were registered, with the remaining licenses distributed over public & private joint stock companies.
In Sharjah, 81,235 companies were registered by the end of December, 481 firms up against August, 52,249 of which are individual institutions, 23,284 limited liability companies and the rest distributed over other types of firms.