Dubai sees 132% increase in demand for e-commerce licence

Close to 6,000 permits issued to online businesses in past 12 months

  
Dubai skyline. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

Dubai skyline. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

Many new fledging entrepreneurs in Dubai have started an online business over the last 12 months when online shopping and e-commerce accelerated as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dubai Economic Department (Dubai Economy) granted “DED Trader” licence to 5,799 businesses in 2020, up by 132 percent compared to 2019.

The permit enables start-ups in Dubai to trade or conduct business activities online, including social networking sites. It is popular among entrepreneurs with limited capital, as it doesn’t require a physical office or shop.

According to Dubai Economy, the increase in DED Trader licence applications is testament to its continued support for the e-commerce sector and highlights the local economy’s competitiveness.

“This reflects Dubai Economy’s focus on promoting e-commerce and the competitiveness of Dubai’s economy, as well as its commitment to realising the vision of the government to drive digital transformation and build awareness about e-platforms that facilitate commercial activities,” DED said.

“The numbers show that DED Trader has proactively supported the growth of e-commerce in the UAE and encouraged a growing number of consumers to shop online,” it added.

E-commerce in the Middle East region and across the world has accelerated since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Players in the industry, including big-box retailers who maintain an online presence, have reported a huge increase in consumer demand online since the first quarter of 2020.

About ‘DED Trader’

The DED Trader licence was launched by the Business Registration and Licensing sector of the Dubai Economy to support start-ups in Dubai. From its launch in 2017 to December 2020, a total of 9,949 licences were issued.

Out of the permits released, more than half (57 percent) went to female entrepreneurs.

Among the business activities that online start-ups have applied for, “marketing services via social media” topped the list, followed by perfumes and cosmetics trading, portal, sweets and candies preparing, cafeteria, marketing management, social media applications development and management, readymade garments trading and ladies’ garments trading.

E-commerce in the Middle East region and across the world has accelerated since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The trend has been largely fuelled by the unprecedented shift in consumer behaviour to the digital space.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

Cleofe.maceda@refinitiv.com 

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© ZAWYA 2021

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