Dubai issues law creating unified digital platform for establishing companies

Emirate aims to integrate licensing processes, including those managed by top authorities

Dubai is aiming to enhance its digital strength to boost its economy. Pawan Singh / The National
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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has issued a decree to create a unified digital platform that will help businesses establish and contribute to the emirate's economic growth.

The new platform, which will use the Invest in Dubai portal, aims to integrate various licensing processes and covers all economic activity, the Dubai Media Office said on Wednesday.

These processes include those managed by the Department of Economy and Tourism, the authorities of special development zones and free zones such as the Dubai International Financial Centre and other relevant entities, it said.

All requests related to licensing and permits will be processed through Invest in Dubai, the platform that provides services for starting a business or reserving a trade name managed by the DET.

“The integration is aimed at significantly improving the investor experience in Dubai,” the media office said.

“By offering a streamlined channel for accessing information, obtaining licences, and availing other services related to economic activities, the platform seeks to enhance the ease and convenience of investors.”

Also on Wednesday, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, issued an Executive Council resolution to “approve the key principles behind facilitating the investor’s journey in Dubai”.

“All licensing entities and federal and local entities tasked with regulating and supervising business activities in Dubai, are responsible for facilitating a smooth journey for investors in Dubai and implementing the procedures required to facilitate this,” the resolution said.

The announcement comes as Dubai is works towards its D33 strategy, which aims to double the size of its economy to Dh32 trillion ($8.71 trillion) over the next decade and establish the emirate among the top three global cities.

The plan aims to support 30 private companies to achieve unicorn status, or to be worth more than $1 billion. Other business incubators will support the growth of private companies, with 400 of the most promising identified.

It also aims to make Dubai a global digital economy leader, the fastest-growing and most attractive global business centre, a centre for sustainability and economic diversification, and an incubator and enabler of talented Emiratis.

Dubai has maintained robust growth momentum since the Covid-19 pandemic slowdown in sectors such as tourism, real estate and trade.

The emirate's non-oil foreign trade reached Dh2 trillion ($540 billion) in 2023, a year ahead of schedule, driven by continuing economic growth in the emirate, Sheikh Mohammed announced last month.

Business activity in the emirate's non-oil private sector economy grew at the fastest rate in almost four years in February due to a rise in new orders, leading to an improvement in employment rates, the S&P Global Dubai Purchasing Managers' Index showed this week.

The index matched the May 2019 level, the joint-highest seen in more than nine years, indicating a sharp improvement in operating conditions.

Hiring activity last month also remained robust, with the pace of job creation improving at the highest level since August 2015.

“The Dubai PMI … suggests that the Dubai non-oil economy is growing rapidly so far this year. The reading signals that the Dubai non-oil sector is one of the fastest growing worldwide according to global PMI data,” said David Owen, senior economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Updated: March 13, 2024, 1:27 PM