The number of business licenses issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED) reached 18,757 in 2013, an increase of 12 percent over the 16,791 licenses issued in 2012, reaffirming rising investor confidence in Dubai as a thriving business hub.
The number of foreign nationals obtaining licenses in 2013 was 111 compared to 102 in 2012 and British nationals accounted for the biggest share of 14 licenses. US, Lebanese, Indian and Swiss nationals were among the other leading foreign investors in Dubai last year.
Sector-wise, professional licenses showed the biggest increase of 18 percent year-on-year in a further indication of Dubai’s rising appeal as a services centre while commercial licenses grew by 10 percent and industrial licenses by four percent. Licensing in tourism sector remained stable.
Commenting on the rise in number of licenses, Mohammed Shael Al-Saadi, chief executive officer of business registration and licensing (BRL) sector in DED, said Dubai enhancing its appeal among investors proved that the emirate is taking the right steps to improve ease of doing business and capitalize on its competitiveness.
A total of 112,487 licenses — up eight percent from 2012 – were renewed in 2013 while the number of amended licenses increased nine percent to 74,061. Initial approvals rose 15 percent to reach 33,729 while reserved trade names also rose 15 percent to 74,750. The total number of BRL transactions in 2013 was 615,533, up four percent from the previous year.
The number of licenses issued to companies according to legal status reached 18,755 in 2013. Limited liability companies (LLCs) topped the list at 12,240, showing a growth of 11 percent from the 11,039 recorded in 2012. Sole proprietorship licenses increased from 4,711 in 2012 to 5,375, or 14 percent, last year.