Key economic sectors and economic activity in Dubai remained stable and growing in 2011, with the Department of Economic Development (DED) issuing 14,360 business licenses during the year. The professional services sector, at 7%, accounted for the most number of licenses in 2011 followed by the tourism sector at five per cent.
“The strong economic performance in Dubai, as demonstrated by the high number of business licenses issued, was led by the visionary policies of the government. It also shows the high level of investor confidence in Dubai, chiefly on account of its leading economic role in the region and the world. One of DED’s strategic objectives is to create a suitable environment that retains Dubai as a destination of choice for investors,” said His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED.
“We always seek to attract investment and boost economic activity in Dubai by providing value-added services to investors and the business community,” added Al Qamzi.
The top ten business activities in Dubai accounted for 12,527 – 24.8% – of the 50,589 activities for which licenses were issued in 2011, compared to a share of 11,733 in a total of 46,287 licensed activities in 2010. General trade led the list of the top 10 licensed activities in the commercial category with 1,799 licences issued in 2011, compared to 1,543 licenses in 2010. Dyes & paints; carpentry and flooring & tiling were the other business activities that showed significant growth last year.
The total number of amended licenses in 2011 was 58,129, an 18% increase over 2010, while the total number of renewed licences grew four per cent to reach 97,355. The total number of transactions rose 25% to 503,792 in 2011, from 402,081 in 2010.
The total number of commercial permits issued in 2011 was 39,898, while the total number of trade names reserved reached 52,136, a 15% increase. DED also conducted 82,916 random and organised inspection visits in 2011, 3% more compared to 2010. The number of trademarks protected by DED was 132 in 2011, a 30% increase compared to 2010. Meanwhile, the number of commercial agencies that has been protected was 22 in 2011, an increase of 45% over 2010.
The number of licenses issued to companies according to legal status and for investing in Dubai reached 14,361 in 2011. Limited liability companies topped the list of companies at 8,787 and a growth rate of 17%. There was also a 33% increase in simple partnership firms and 300% increase in government liaison offices.
The total number of licenses issued to the top ten foreign nationalities among investors in Dubai was 58, or 73% of the total licenses issued (80) in this category during 2011, compared to 51 in 2010. British nationals topped the list with 14 licences in 2011, followed by Saudi Arabians, Indians and Bahrainis in that order.
Before joining SME Advisor as an Assistant Editor in 2010 I obtained a Bachelors Civil Law Degree (Hons) from the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland, in 2005. I worked as a trainee lawyer in Dublin, Ireland, specialising in defence litigation and criminal law before obtaining a Masters in International Journalism from the University of Cardiff in 2009. At present I am the Editor of SME Advisor Middle East, which is a publication within the CPI Business Group. You can follow me on twitter: @mikey_byrne or @SMEadvisorME. Also, you can join me on Linkedin (Mike Byrne) or at (SME Advisor).