Dubai Economy issues 9% more licenses in January

Dubai Economy on Sunday said it issued nine per cent more new licences in January as the investors reposed full confidence in the emirate following resumption of trade activities after a pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Business Registration and Licensing (BRL) sector of Dubai Economy issued 4,567 new licenses in January 2021, reflecting an increase of nine percent from the 4,172 new licenses issued in January 2020.

Among the new licenses issued in January 2021, 58 percent were professional, followed by 40 percent commercial, and the rest were distributed among tourism and industrial activities.

Shailesh Dash, financier, and entrepreneur, said Dubai economy has once again proved its resilience despite the challenging environment across the globe in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of the UAE showed that business activity has stabilized during the second half of 2020 as the index recorded average readings of 50.4 and 50.1 in third and fourth quarters, respectively. Positive economic indicators show that that the economy is gradually returning to the growth track and will sustain an upward trend this year,” Dash told Khaleej Times on Sunday.

“Dubai is a commercial hub and it will be a major beneficiary when the UAE economy moves into positive trajectory,” he said.

According to the main areas, Deira accounted for the largest share (2,425) of the new licences followed by Bur Dubai (2,135), and Hatta (7). The figures reflect Dubai’s resilience as well as the emirate’s economic competitiveness, including its ability to provide businesses high-growth opportunities in various economic sectors.

According to the legal forms of the licences issued in January 2021, Sole Establishments accounted for 42 per cent of the total, followed by Limited Liability companies 32 per cent, and Civil Works at 22 per cent. The rest of the legal forms included; One-Person Limited Liability Companies; Branches of companies based in other Emirates; Branches of Free Zone Companies; Branches of Foreign Companies; and Branches of Gulf Companies.

The activities of the new licences issued during January 2021 included: Other professional services; Contracting and related matters; Building maintenance, guards and cleaning; Cleaning services; Ready-made garments; Information technology; Other business activities; Electronics group; Food trade; Restaurants and cafes.

Nazim Munshi, director at Enterprise House, said January 2020 was a period which was not impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“A nine per cent increase in issued licence in January 2021 compared to same month of last year shows that ‘Dubai means business’. The incessant efforts by the Dubai and UAE government in fighting the Covid crisis, subsidy support for SME, streamlining and easy issue of new licences, persistent vaccination drive, etc, has led the investors and business houses to believe and trust in the bright future of UAE,” Munshi told Khaleej Times on Sunday.

“With the announcement of new flexible laws on UAE passport for investors, 100% foreign ownership for foreigners in mainland, long terms visas and other initiatives on peace the UAE is expected to be unbeatable in the region for attracting new investments into the country. 2021 is expected to see good growth and shall boost confidence for residents and nationals alike,” she added.

Dubai Economy strives to deliver solutions that contribute to enhancing ease of doing business in the emirate and expanding investment and growth, which in turn maintain a sustainable economy. The increase in new licences also shows the private sector’s growing role as a key partner in Dubai’s economic development as well as the emirate’s constant efforts to provide a supportive environment and infrastructure for local and international businesses.

The Business Map,, seeks to reflect the economic realities in Dubai by providing vital data on each license category including their numbers and distribution as well as trends on a monthly basis. It also includes an interactive guide explaining the geographic distribution and concentration of major business activities and the rate of urban growth in terms of expanding neighborhoods and business licenses.

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