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Sharjah witnessed 7.1 per cent growth in the number of new and renewed licences issued in 2010, as compared to statistics for 2009, according to a report issued by the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD).
Chairman Ali bin Salem Al Mahmoud said: “This significant increase in the number of new and renewed licences issued last year is a direct result of the SEDD’s strategies, which have required many years of planning and are dedicated to establishing a good reputation for the emirate of Sharjah on the local, regional and international levels.
According to the SEDD report, a total of 52,975 new and renewed licences were issued in 2010, an increase of 7.1 per cent over the 49,476 new and renewed licences issued the previous year, with the number of renewed licences increasing by six per cent (up from 45,048 in 2009 to 47,734 in 2010) and the number of new licences increasing by 18.4 per cent (up from 4,428 in 2009 to 5,241 in 2010).
The report indicated that in 2010 SEDD issued 3,176 trade licences (60.6 per cent of total), 1,968 professional licences (37.5 per cent of total) and 97 industrial licences (1.9 per cent of total). These numbers were up from 2009, when 2,168 trade licences (48.9 per cent of total), 2,182 professional licences (49.3 per cent of total) and 78 industrial licences (1.8 per cent of total) were issued
The continued growth of Sharjah’s trade, professional and industrial sectors, as evidenced by the increase in the number of licences issued in 2010, is anticipated to increase Sharjah’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), enhance its economic diversification and create new jobs within the emirate.
The majority of the 5,241 new trade licences issued in 2010 were for the City of Sharjah, which was granted 4,423 new licences (84.4%), followed by Khorfakkan with 345 new licences (6.6%), Al Dhaid (Central District) with 291 new licences (5.5%) and Kalba with 182 new licences (3.5%).
There was an increase in the number of licences that were cancelled in 2010 as a result of Decision No. 27 of 2010 issued by Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council, according to which all cumulative fines on expired licences of all types of activities in the emirate of Sharjah were cancelled as part of the government’s efforts to support the business sector and encourage investment in Sharjah. A total of 2,246 licences were cancelled in 2010, compared to 1,034 licences in 2009.
According to Al Mahmoud, the SEDD report on licences issued is one of the indices that reflects Sharjah’s economic activities and demonstrates economic growth or decline. “The report is a reliable tool that helps evaluate, improve, support and direct economic activities in the emirate, in line with general economic and social policy,” he explained. Al Mahmoud added the 2010 data reflects the amount of attention SEDD has given to facilitating investment, supporting successful projects and adding value to the emirate’s economy over the past few years, saying that the clear growth in new licences issued in 2010 is an index of Sharjah’s safe, investor-friendly climate.
He also stressed the importance of diversifying economic activities in Sharjah, and of supporting and offering facilities to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to enable these projects to survive and be profitable, as these are among the most important lessons learned from the global financial crisis that hit the world in 2008. Al Mahmoud paid tribute to Sharjah’s wise leadership and its vision of adopting economic diversification policies from the very beginning. The 2010 SEDD licence report shows diversification between the trade, professional and industrial sectprs, as well as the potential for expansion across and investment in the emirate’s various regions.
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