|By Saifur Rahman|Dubai added 26,707 new companies last year to the existing 107,043 trade licenses, reflecting strong investor confidence in the emirate, the Department of Economic Development, Dubai’s trade licensing authority, said in a statement.
“The number of licenses renewed in 2016 was 107,043 while 20,873 initial approvals were issued and 38,918 trade names were reserved,” the statement said.
This means Dubai now has 133,750 companies active as at December 31, 2016.
“The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai issued a record number of 26,707 new business licenses in 2016 as the improved ease of doing business and increasing competitiveness in the emirate spurred optimism among investors and entrepreneurs.”
In the first half of 2016, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry reported that 8,000 new companies had registered.
The UAE has improved its trade license issuance process by simplifying the process while trade license renewal takes very minimal time. The country’s ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report improved significantly raising its overall ranking to 26, up from 34, a year ago.
According to data collected by World Bank’s Doing Business team, starting a business in the UAE requires 4.0 procedures , takes 8.0 days, costs 13.0% of income per capita for men, and requires 5.0 procedures , takes 9.0 days, costs 13.0% of income per capita for women.
The UAE made starting a business easier by merging the requirements to file company documents with the Department for Economic Development, to obtain a trade license and to register with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Omar Bushahab, Chief Executive of Business Registration and Licensing (BRL) division at the DED, said the year 2016 underlined the effectiveness of DED’s continued efforts towards facilitating business activity in Dubai. “The Department of Economic Development has brought in substantial improvements in customer services in terms of speed and quality and this has enhanced the competitiveness across our branches and outsourced centres, leading to greater happiness and satisfaction among customers.”
Average waiting time for customers at DED service centres is seven minutes and 90 per cent of the customers said it was less than seven minutes. Complex transactions don’t take more than 30 minutes while regular transactions are completed within 10 minutes and speed transactions within five minutes.
Bushahab said 2017 will see the launch of further initiatives to improve ease of business and meet the needs and aspirations of investors. The new steps are aimed to achieve a quantum leap in the business environment and economic performance of Dubai and they will improve investor confidence further and attract new regional and international enterprises to the emirate.
“The Auto Renewal system introduced under our ‘Hassle-Free’ initiative received 62,115 messages in 2016 and it shows the level of response to such initiatives from our customers,” added Bushahab.
Under the system, customers SMS their license number to DED on the number 6969 to have their licenses renewed following which they will receive a payment authorization in reply. The customer can then pay the fees in any outlet manually or electronically through the link attached to the SMS.