Dubai Sees 179% Increase in DED Trader Licences in Q1 2020

  • ‘DED Trader’ licence sees strong interest with online business and e-Commerce growing
  • 5,353 DED Traders already conducting diverse businesses online and on social media
  • Provides a convenient online shopping option, especially in the COVID-19 alert period
  • Enables business continuity and sustainability during COVID-19 alert

With online shopping and e-Commerce scoring high for convenience and safety, the ‘DED Trader’ licence of Dubai Economy is attracting increased interest from start-ups in Dubai. Pioneered by the Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector in Dubai Economy in 2017 to enable business activities online and across social networking accounts, ‘DED Trader’ licences were issued to 943 new businesses during the first three months of 2020, an increase of 179% over the same period last year. With online shopping gaining fresh momentum in the UAE, 102 DED Trader licences were issued to date in April 2020, and the total number of DED Traders now stands at 5,353.

‘DED Trader’ has proactively supported the growth of e-Commerce in the UAE and encouraged a growing number of consumers to shop online. It is also enabling businesses to address challenges during the prevailing nationwide alert against COVID-19 with an easily accessible window regulated by Dubai Economy to set up and drive online enterprises. Additionally, it enables business continuity and sustainability during COVID-19.

‘DED Trader’ has also created new opportunities with several innovative activities and emerging sectors now facilitated by the licence, providing an authentic channel for ambitious startups and young people to test new products and services. The ‘Information Technology’ group, which includes 17 activities, topped the list of groups in the DED Trader licences issued during January-March 2020, followed by ‘Fashion’ (33 activities), ‘Other Personal and Trading Services’ (13), ‘Event Organisers’ (8), and ‘Preparation of Food’ (7).

Altogether, the ‘DED Trader’ licence is issued to 87 activity groups. The number of permitted activities in a single licence is 10, provided they are consistent within the same activity category. ‘Lifestyle Coaching’ tops the list of activities licensed since the launch of ‘DED Trader,’ followed by ‘Marketing Services Via Social Media,’ ‘Project Management Services,’ ‘Marketing Management,’ and ‘Portals.’

‘DED Trader’ has also gained tremendous interest among women entrepreneurs: 60% of the licences issued till date are by women entrepreneurs, underlining its role in enabling them to leverage innovative channels to successfully launch their own business projects.

Issued electronically in line with its emphasis on ease of business and convenience, ‘DED Trader’ has continued to witness rising demand every quarter since its launch with 41 licences issued during the first month. While the number of licences issued increased from 270 to 303 between the first and last quarters of 2018, the increase during the same period in 2019 was from 525 to 839. The last quarter of 2019 saw a 276% increase in licences issued compared to the same period in the previous year.

Through ‘DED Trader’, Dubai Economy seeks to regulate doing business electronically and make it easier, as well as enable such businesses to connect with customers and grow. The licensee cannot open a shop/store but can avail of three visas if the ownership is 100% Emirati and legal liability falls under the licence holder.

The ‘DED Trader’ licence can be obtained from anywhere by going to and following a few simple steps – create username and password; enter address details, and social media accounts for the project/business; select the activity and trade name, and finally, make payment and receive the licence electronically.

‘DED Trader’ also provides membership in the Dubai Chamber for commercial activities, and other benefits, including bank facilities; getting Customs Client Code, which facilitates import and export via; temporary employment services; participation in exhibitions & conferences and training workshop; displaying of products in consumer points of sale and providing work space.

The BRL sector focuses on providing support to the ‘DED Trader’ licence holders by signing partnerships with government and private sectors, providing facilities for their business growth as well as opening new channels by enhancing cooperation with major sales outlets.


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