Dubai launches initiative to boost data sharing and ease of doing business

Unified licence project will serve as an information source and introduce a unified digital registry

Dubai Unified Licence will reduce the time required for companies to establish and manage their operations. AP
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Dubai has launched a new commercial identification project that aims to bring all economic establishments in the emirate and its free zones on to a single platform to streamline the process of data collection, management and sharing.

The Dubai Unified Licence project will serve as a reliable single digital information source and introduce a unified digital registry, the Dubai Media Office said on Monday.

Launched in collaboration with the Dubai Free Zones Council, the licence will be issued to both existing and new businesses in Dubai, operating with either a mainland or a free zone licence.

The scheme aims to standardise Dubai’s business processes in accordance with global practices and ensure that the latest company records, including licence details and data, are consistently maintained within the digital registry.

The initiative “exemplifies our dedication to facilitating ease of doing business, promoting transparency and embracing digital-first practices”, Helal Almarri, director general of the emirate's Department of Economy and Tourism, said.

“Seamlessly integrating with Dubai’s advanced digital technology infrastructure, it harnesses our smart city capabilities to drive business growth and strengthen Dubai’s position among the world’s top three global cities,” Mr Almarri said.

The DET, which was formed after Dubai's departments of economy and tourism were merged in November 2021, focuses on enhancing ease of doing business in the emirate and expanding investment and growth. It also promotes collaboration between the government and private sectors to advance the emirate’s economic development.

Thus far, it has issued more than 50,000 licences and it plans to issue more in the coming period, covering all registered companies in Dubai mainland and in free zones.

Under the new plan, the businesses will undergo thorough validation, verification and screening by the appropriate authorities before receiving their unique digital identity.

Beside boosting transparency and efficiency, the DUL will also reduce the time required for companies to establish and manage their operations.

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The streamlined approach is expected to attract global investors and entrepreneurs seeking a hassle-free business environment, strengthening the emirate’s appeal as a preferred global business hub.

With a digital repository and consent capability, the DUL will facilitate easy access to company information for government entities, service providers and the public. It will also reinforce the compliance framework outlined in the national anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism strategy.

Businesses are allocated a licence number specific to the mainland or free zone authority of their incorporation. They can use a unique QR code on their premises, websites and social media accounts instead of presenting the traditional trade licence certificates.

In the coming days, the DUL aims to facilitate banks in opening accounts for Dubai-based companies with enhanced ease and efficiency.

Dubai strengthened its status as a major global economic centre in the first half of 2023, continuing to perform strongly across sectors from tourism to property, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, said in July.

Business activity in Dubai's non-oil private sector economy improved further in October as business optimism soared and sales hit a four-year high amid the emirate's continued economic momentum.

Dubai’s seasonally adjusted S&P Global purchasing managers' index reading rose to 57.4 in October, from 56.1 in September, remaining well above the neutral 50-mark separating an expansion from a contraction.

The successful completion of DUL initiative is a “testament to the teamwork and constructive co-operation among the Dubai Free Zones Council, the free zones authorities in Dubai and the DET team”, Mohammed Al Zarooni, secretary general of the Dubai Free Zones Council, said.

Updated: December 11, 2023, 3:33 PM