The number of trade licenses issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED) during the first three months of 2012 reached 4,343, registering an increase of 27% over the same period in 2011. The tourism sector accounted for the highest increase in number of licenses (213%) followed by the industrial (71%), commercial and professional (26% each) sectors, compared to the first quarter of 2011.

Commercial licenses accounted for 74% of the total licenses issued in quarter one (Q1) of 2012, followed by professional (23%), industrial (2%) and tourism (1%) licenses. The figures demonstrate a higher level of interest in commercial and professional activities among businessmen and investors in Dubai.

Mohammed Shael Al Saadi, CEO, Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) in DED, said: “DED provides a varied and integrated bouquet of services to ensure time and cost savings for clients. These services are tailored to meet all their requirements efficiently. The quarterly report confirms the success of our initiatives and procedures, and affirms the growing investor interest in engaging in diverse business activities in Dubai.”

Al Saadi added: “Such impressive growth in the overall business activity will further boost investor confidence, drive inward investments and strengthen the competitiveness of Dubai’s economy.”

The total number of licenses renewed in Q1 of 2012 was 25,382, a three per cent decrease over the same period in 2011, while amended licenses showed a 21% increase. The total number of BRL transactions reached 144,840, compared to 124,037 during the same period in 2011, a 17% increase.

The number of trade names reserved during the first three months of the current year reached 17,565, a 44% increase compared to the same period in 2011, while the number of initial approvals reached 7,735, a 36% increase over the 5,701 recorded in Q1 of 2011.

The total number of commercial activities licensed reached 4,634, with general trade leading the list of the top ten licensed activities in the commercial category with 195 licences issued in Q1 of 2012, followed by Dyes & paints (191 licenses), Tiling of floors and walls (188), and carpentry and flooring (185).

The number of professional activities licensed in Q1 of 2011 reached 1,109. Residences and building cleaning services led the list of the top ten licensed activities in this category with 135 licences, followed by restaurants (43), wiring repair and electrical installation (42), sewing and female embroidery (39), sewing women’s clothes (38), and sewing women’s gowns (31).

In the tourism sector, Inbound tourism was the leader with 17 licenses, followed by travel agents  (6) hotel management (3), accredited airline general service agent and leasing of hotel apartments (one licence each).

“The licensing activity in tourism sector reflects the substantial growth in this sector, resulting from the vision and strategies of our leadership aimed at making Dubai a destination of choice for tourists and visitors from all over the world. It also underlines the important role played by the retail sector and the presence of varied shopping centres across Dubai, in addition to the security, stability and safety that distinguish the emirate,” stated Al Saadi.

In the industrial activities segment, bblacksmithing and welding workshops led the list of the top ten licensed activities with three licences, followed by furniture for schools and hospitals, assembly of cars, canning and packaged fruits, manufacture of coil aluminum foil, assembly of electronic devices, metal for building construction, plastic for buildings, manufacturing of napkins and paper towels and Liquid battery industry, with one license each within the total industrial activities (28).

Al Saadi said: “The industrial sector in the UAE receives significant attention from our leaders who seeks to attract heavy and medium industries and encourage them to set up units jointly with local businesses. The UAE industrial production has proved to be capable of competing globally.”

Rushika Bhatia Editor

Rushika Bhatia is one of the region’s leading commentators on business and current affairs issues. She is the Editor of SME Advisor magazine - the flagship title of CPI Business. She is passionate about infographics – with special emphasis on data, research and statistics. Rushika has a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, USA and is also CIMA qualified.

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