Dubai strengthens reputation as business networking hub

  • DED sees 16.3% rise in commercial permits in H1 2016 as businesses ramp up marketing efforts
  • 85% increase in trade fair permits; advertising campaigns see 32.3% growth

Commercial permits issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai to companies for various activities like marketing campaigns, sales promotions and exhibitions increased 16.3% over the first six months of 2016 compared to the first half of 2015. Altogether 13,566 commercial permits were issued by DED in H1 2016, indicating robust business development efforts and competition among firms to sustain business and connect with existing as well as potential customers.

A total of 389 permits were issued for exhibitions during H1 2016 compared to 210 permits recorded during the first half of 2015. Permits issued for companies to engage in multiple promotional activities increased 33.3% – from 1,807 in H1 2015 to 2,408 in Hi 2016 – indicating a strong demand for diverse marketing strategies.

Permits for promotional campaigns issued during H1 2016 also increased 13.6% compared to the same period of the previous year and reached 3,664, while permits for business forums rose 14.3% to reach 136 as Dubai strengthened its credentials as a destination for new projects and businesses.

Dubai also continued to enhance its appeal as a business networking hub with an 85% increase in permits for major trade fairs, largely driven by convenient electronic procedures introduced by DED. As per the procedures, host companies can get commercial permits issued directly without depending on outsourcing or third party companies. The Dubai World Trade Centre accounted for 52% of the total exhibitions and conferences permitted during H1 2016, with Crowne Plaza Hotel (5%) in second place and the third place shared by Jumeirah Emirates towers and The Address and Dubai Marina (4% each).

Ease and flexibility of procedures encourage business owners to take advantage of the opportunities and promote their products through various campaigns. Advertising campaigns particularly witnessed a 32.3 growth during the first six months of 2016, indicating significant retailing activity as well as healthy competition and business development efforts among businesses.

Omar Bushahab, CEO of Business Registration & Licensing in DED commented that the increase in commercial permits issued shows the ease and flexibility of the procedures followed by the Department of Economic Development to facilitate issuance of such permits.

“Clearly, confidence levels are high among business owners in Dubai while on the other hand there is growing competition among businesses. We will work to strengthen strategic business partnerships and facilitate commercial activity to support economic development and policy-making aimed to reinforce Dubai as a hub of growth and sustainable development,” Bushahab concluded.

Bushahab added that the intense competition is prompting businesses in Dubai to look at efficient and innovative marketing strategies, including advertising campaigns, exhibitions and sales promotions.


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