Business licenses can be renewed via SMS in Dubai

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The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai has launched a new service for owners of business licenses to have them renewed automatically through a simple text message (SMS). Introduced in partnership with Etisalat and du, the service allows owners to request business license renewal by sending a text message to ‘6969’ after which they will receive a payment voucher, provided all due DED requirements are fulfilled. The license owner can then proceed to pay electronically or manually at the nearest outlet and complete the renewal process.

The initiative is part of the strategy and ongoing efforts of DED to facilitate doing business in Dubai and improve the competitiveness ranking of the UAE in the Doing Business Report of the World Bank. The automatic renewal covers 2,096 commercial activities that do not require external approvals, accounting to 99.8% of licenses under various legal forms, except four licenses that require external approval from the Roads and Transport Agency (RTA).

“We launched the automatic renewal service earlier in 2015 under our ‘Hassle Free’ initiative and since then we have been following up on its progress over four months and working on developing the service over the next seven months based on the feedback and suggestion from our customers,” said Omar Bushahab, CEO of Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) Sector in DED.

“When we did a survey among our customers, 90% of them said the Hassle Free initiative has improved the licensing and renewal procedures remarkably. It inspired us to bring about a quantum change in our services, particularly in improving customer satisfaction and ease of doing business. Through eliminating challenges for investors and businessmen we are able to make Dubai more competitive and achieve sustainable economic development,” Bushahab added.

The new service means a significant majority of license holders in Dubai can renew their licenses and complete fee payments in two steps, without any paperwork. Bushahab said DED will continue to develop the service for improved customer satisfaction and help them save time.

The renewal of trade licenses constitute the largest share, in fact up to 70%, of the daily transactions processed by DED and its service centre network. In order to make it easier for investors and businessmen,the registration of new contracts was integrated to the license renewal system in partnership with the Real Estate regulatory Agency (RERA).

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