Round-up: “Invest in Dubai” platform launched, DED releases 2020 license statistics, and UAE ranked for ease of setting up an online business


Invest in Dubai platform launched

Last week Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the ‘Invest in Dubai’ platform which claims to enable investors to obtain trade licenses and launch a business in only a few minutes.

The list of local and federal entities that contributed to the project is substantial: Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Ministry of Economy, Dubai Free Zones Council, Security Apparatus Department, Dubai Police; Directorate General of Dubai Civil Defense; Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Customs, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Land Department, Community Development Authority; Security Industry Regulatory Agency; Dubai Health Authority; Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Sports Council, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities; Dubai Courts, Knowledge and Human Development Authority and General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

“Dubai offers businesses and investors an attractive environment with all the elements needed to achieve success and gain the agility needed to transform challenges into opportunities. Despite the prevailing global situation, Dubai has demonstrated the strength of its digital infrastructure and leveraged advanced technologies to develop economic solutions for helping investors and entrepreneurs accomplish their goals,” said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.

2,640 new licenses were issued in 2020 according to the Department of Economic Development

The Department of Economic Development (DED) recently announced that it registered 42,640 new licenses in 2020, an increase of 4% from the year before.

The most popular type of license was a professional license (64%), next was commercial (35%) and the rest were within the tourism and industrial sectors, stated a report of Dubai Economy’s Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) division.

Also, 346,375 business registration and licensing transactions were completed in 2020, a 3% increase over 2019 (337,752). Apart from new licenses, licence renewals accounted for 162,762 transactions in 2020, a 15% over 2019 (141,788).

Last week, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, announced a fresh Dhs315m economic stimulus package.

The fifth economic stimulus package to be announced in recent months extends the validity of some of the initiatives announced in the previously and included provisions for commercial licenses to be renewed without lease contracts.

UAE ranked 13th in global list of countries to open an online business

The UAE was ranked 13th out of 99 countries for ease of starting an online business. The study was carried out by Best Accounting Software, a service that reviews and rates financial software.

Some of the criteria the study considered were internet coverage and penetration, country wealth, ease of processes , access to delivery services, and skilled workers.

The UAE had an overall score of 68.41 out of 100, just below the UK and ahead of Belgium. The GCC country ranked best for mobile internet speed (with average speeds of 129.61 Mbps), best for internet users (with 99 per cent of their population using the internet), and best for low corporate tax rates (zero %). Saudi Arabia had a score of 53.67 and Kuwait scored 51.39.

This fits nicely with the recent push from DIFC and ADGM to get more technology focused online start-ups registered. Both jurisdictions have excellent incentives for innovation/tech/FinTech related copmpanies, and the sector has seen a surge in applications and licenses in the last two years.

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