Dubai sees 13% increase in trade licenses in 2014


21, 358 licenses issued in 2014 as against 18,848 during the previous year

The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai saw an increase of 13% in the number of business licenses issued in 2014 as optimism prevailed on the domestic economic front and investors continued to pursue new opportunities across various industry sectors. The total number of licenses increased to 21,358 in 2014 as against 18,848 in 2013 with industrial licenses showing the biggest increase (27%) followed by commercial and tourism licenses at 16% each and professional licenses at five per cent.

The strategic guidance provided by Dubai’s leadership in stimulating diversification and removing barriers for entrepreneurs and investors in vital sectors is contributing to accelerated economic development. The latest figures on business licensing proves the investor focus on Dubai and the regional and global competitiveness of the emirate.

The Business Registration and Licensing sector aims to consolidate and enhance the sustainability of economic development in Dubai through targeted initiatives and the application of best practices, such as ease of starting and doing business.

DED’s report on 2014 shows the number of amended licenses reached 85,548 in 2014 compared to 74,859 in 2013, an increase of 14%, while the total licenses renewed increased four per cent to reach 118,953 from 114,218 during the same period. The number of total transactions completed in 2014 was 577,400.

The number of reserved trade names in 2014 was 83,599, an increase of 12% over the 74,750 names reserved in 2013, while initial approvals increased 14% from the previous year and reached 38,580. In terms of licenses classified under the legal form, Limited Liability Companies (LLC) accounted 14,701 of the licenses in 2014 compared to 12,549 in 2013, a growth rate of 17%. Sole proprietorship licenses rose six per cent, from 5,375 in 2013 to 5,090 in 2014.

Licenses issued to branches of free zone companies in 2014 showed 129% increase – from 45 in 2013 to 103 in 2014 – while number of private shareholding companies increased by 43%, public shareholding companies by 36% and branches of foreign companies licensed increased 15%.

LLCs accounted for 67% of the total licenses issued in 2014 followed by Sole Proprietorship Companies (27%) and Civil Works companies (4%).

The top ten among activities licensed accounted for 15,383 licenses in 2014 with an increase of 24% compared to 14,484 licenses in 2013.

Sector-wise, General Trade (2,664 licenses) led the list of top 10 activities licensed in 2014 compared to 2,293 licenses in 2013, a growth of 11% followed by Dyes and paints (1,638 licenses in 2014 as against 1,594 in 2013) and Tiling of floors and walls (1,620) licenses in 2014 compared to 1,526 licenses in 2013, a growth of 6%.


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