The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) has issued 429 new business licences in the first fortnight of 2009, indicating investors are still making a beeline for Dubai in the face of the global economic crisis.
The department reported 3.3 per cent increase in the number of new business licences issued between October and December 2008.
"The emirate has continued the growth story with more than 429 new business licences issued in the first fortnight of 2009, a clear indication of the continued resilience of the economy of Dubai and investors' confidence," said a statement.
The Q4 2008 statistics, released yesterday by the DED – the official source of information on businesses in Dubai – show a 3.3 per cent increase in the number of new business licences issued over the same period in 2007. The 3,503 licences issued between October and December 2008 followed the steady growth in previous quarters. By the end of 2008, there were 134,379 businesses in operation in Dubai.
During the last quarter of 2008, a total of 313 licences have been cancelled, 64 less than the number of cancellations in 2007, highlighting normal patterns in business behaviour. The rate of cancellations dropped from 11 per cent in 2007 to nine per cent in 2008. Commercial licences witnessed the largest cancellation – 216 while the number of professional licences cancelled was 90.
Apart from 429 new business licences issued during the period January 1 – 15, 2009, an additional 50 Intlaq licences were issued to UAE nationals to set up home-based businesses.
Commercial licences – focused on trade – made up the majority of new licences issued during both periods, contributing approximately 80 per cent. Professional licences, primarily associated with services, accounted for between 17 and 20 per cent, with tourism and industrial licences making up the remainder.
Sami Dhaen Al Qamzi, Director-General of the Dubai Department of Economic Development, said the statistics underscored the firm foundations and promise of the emirate's economy.
"The fundamentals of the city – its pro-business environment, unmatched location, government responsiveness and transparency, world-class infrastructure and quality of life – continue to be strong. Investors see and seek out the strengths and unique value propositions that Dubai offers, and this is reflected in the levels of new business registrations," Al Qamzi said.
"The Government of Dubai will continue its policies to support businesses and entrepreneurs who drive change throughout the economy with new products, processes, ways of doing business and jobs. This model has proven time and again its worth in creating jobs and generating wealth. However, we will not sit on our laurels: in the months to come we will take new steps to ensure our policies remain as sharply focused as ever, and equally importantly, responsive to the changing global conditions.
"We look forward to working much more closely with the business community and consumers in the coming weeks and months."
Mohammed Shael, Chief Business Registration & Licensing Officer, said: "The data reported in the Quarterly Report on the business environment in Dubai reflect a clear vote of confidence in the emirate's strengths in attracting new entrepreneurs. However, we are reviewing our licensing procedures and processes to make them even more business-friendly."
"In keeping with the city's tradition, DED is in the process of introducing a number of measures to shield its economy from the global economic crisis," he said.