UAE - Investors repose trust in Dubai’s growing economy as the emirate’s first integrated digital business set-up platform recorded robust growth since its launch in February this year.
Invest in Dubai (IID) served more than 2,000 businesses in the emirate and attracted 3,746 foreign investors from 77 different countries.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched ‘Invest in Dubai’ platform to offer offer a unique business set-up experience backed by Dubai’s advanced smart solutions. The largest one-stop-shop platform of its kind, it enables investors to obtain trade licenses and launch their business in a matter of minutes.
“Providing a comprehensive platform covering the entire business cycle, IID assists businesses in searching for opportunities, registering trade names; getting initial approvals to issue a license; ensuring all government requirements are met; and obtaining trade licences,” said Sami Al Qamzi, director-general of Dubai Economy.
Setting new trends
Referring to the latest data, since the launch of the IID platform in the beginning of February, the total number of business registration and licensing transactions on the platform has reached 5,747.
“A total of 3,464 commercial licenses were issued, while 1,448 trade names were reserved. The number of initial approvals provided through the platform was 830 while 275 approvals were issued for starting a business,” Al Qamzi said.
New jobs creation
The platform also licensed 485 activities. The top 15 of these activities, which represent 46 per cent of the total include project management services, technical works and maintenance, electronic complexes, social media marketing services, engraving and decoration, installation of suspended ceilings and light partitions, perfumes and cosmetics, and tailoring and sewing of women's clothing.
Saif Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) for Human Resources Affairs, said MOHRE helped facilitate the creation of new jobs through the Invest in Dubai platform.
“The latest data showed that 9,181 jobs were created by businesses for whom licences were issued, based on the link with the Ministry on IID,” he said.
Eng. Dawood Al Hajri, director-general of Dubai Municipality, said IID facilitates all types of Dubai Municipality services, especially food-related activities.
“The procedures for obtaining a licence have been simplified and the customer journey shortened. Approvals are obtained automatically through the platform. The activities related to Dubai Municipality are licensed on the IID platform,” he said.
Attracting global investors
Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, director-general, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, said the latest statistics showed that IID attracted 3,746 investors representing 77 different countries, while 10 nationalities accounted for 90 per cent of the total number of foreign investors, which include British, Russian, French, Jordanian, Egyptian, Indian, Pakistani, and Filipino.
“The average age of the investors was 37 years. The 26-35 age group represented 37 per cent, of investments followed by the 36-45 age group at 35 per cent. We constantly check the data on registered customers on the IID platform to make sure it is credible,” added Al Marri.
IID second phase soon
Younus Al Nasser, assistant director-general of the Smart Dubai Department and CEO of the Dubai Data Establishment, confirmed that the team is working on the future plan for IID services especially those related to the second phase, which will be implemented in 2021. These include several additional services for commercial licences, amendments to licences, opening of bank accounts in a wider set of banks, renewing commercial licences, and opening traffic files for vehicles. He added that the platform facilitated the opening of 87 instant bank accounts with Emirates NBD.
“The platform enables investors to gain insights into investment opportunities for key sectors; information on investment opportunities in commercial zones or free zones, competitiveness assessments, locations of businesses in the city, key economic sectors; and cost of incubating businesses; in addition to sector reports and statistics on foreign direct investment (FDI),” said Al Nasser.
Digital is a way to go forward
Saad Maniar, senior partner at Crowe, said digital has accelerated the pace of change during the Covid-19 pandemic and is fuelling growth across many economic sectors.
“Therefore, such leadership in digital initiatives will have its advantage,” Maniar told Khaleej Times on Monday.
The platform seeks to enhance the customer experience and government service pathways based on feedback received from customers and government agencies. IID offers commercial licensing services as part of which over 15 government permits and approvals can be obtained without the need to visit any service centre. IID also offers value-added services that support businesses in launching commercial projects.
IID also allows investors to access information regarding the requirements, conditions and fees for issuing trade licences in Dubai for more than 2,000 commercial activities. They can also immediately obtain licences for their companies, as well as other commercial licences. A seamless, integrated, and customer-centered digital process allows users to save time and effort, sparing them the need to visit service centres and reduce the paperwork required to establish companies. The platform also enables them to manage their business using a personalised dashboard that provides an overview of active and expired licenses and tradenames, and other useful insights.
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