Abu Dhabi sees 44% increase in business licences in second quarter

Increased demand for licences comes from investors looking to set up service-based businesses

 Abu Dhabi to collaborate with US based EPRI on research and innovation. Victor Besa / The National.
 Abu Dhabi to collaborate with US based EPRI on research and innovation. Victor Besa / The National.

The number of economic licences issued in Abu Dhabi grew 44 per cent in the second quarter of 2019 to 3,854, compared with the same period last year, as the emirate implements a number of measures to boost growth, a report from Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development (ADDED) said.

According to the report, 1,947 new licences were issued in Abu Dhabi city, 567 in Al Ain city, and 87 in Al Dhafra region, in addition to 1,171 new Tajer Abu Dhabi golden package licences and 82 instant licences.

The Tajer Abu Dhabi 'golden package' licence allows companies to reduce costs by setting up without a physical office.

In a statement, Rashed Al Balooshi, undersecretary of ADDED, said the positive results strengthen Abu Dhabi's position as an investment hub.

“The initiatives and programmes of the Department are aimed at stimulating economic growth, primarily by attracting direct investments, raising economic efficiency and enhancing the investment climate," he said.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office was recently set up as part of the Dh50 billion Ghadan 21 programme aimed at boosting the local economy and attracting investment to the emirate. The government has also made changes to real estate laws allowing foreigners to own freehold property in designated investment zones. Fees for a number of services have also either been waived or reduced to improve the investment climate.

Of the 3,854 economic licences issued in the second quarter, 3,654 were in the commercial category, recording a 44.7 per cent increase, compared to the second quarter of 2018. The remainder were licences issued for craftsmen, professionals, or for tourism, agriculture or fisheries businesses.

Mr Al Balooshi said the increase in demand for commercial licences reflects growing investor interest in Abu Dhabi’s services sector.

“This in turn indicates the competitiveness of the national economy and the continuous growth of the local business sector.”

The Department of Economic Development also said that its business centre handled 20,173 licence renewals and 7,299 licence amendments for various economic activities during the quarter. In addition, 1,234 licences were revoked, in line with its efforts to implement best practices.

Abu Dhabi's Gross Domestic Product grew 5.7 per cent at constant prices in the first quarter of 2019 to Dh207 billion, driven by growth in the oil sector, Statistics Center Abu Dhabi said last month.

Published: September 1, 2019 04:55 PM

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