Dubai creates new platform to help investors

Invest in Dubai features an interactive map highlighting opportunities by location

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES -  The Dubai skyline is shrouded in a light fog in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, January 5, 2015. (Photos by: Sarah Dea/The National, Story by: Standalone, News)

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A new platform offering advice and tools to investors looking to set up a business in Dubai has been launched at a meeting of the emirate's Executive Council.

The Invest in Dubai website features advice on a range of topics from securing a commercial licence to where to set up a business. It was unveiled by UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, who chaired the council meeting.

“The confidence that international investors have placed in our emirate stems from its agile economy, solid legislative environment, and robust, investor-friendly infrastructure," Dubai's Crown Prince and chairman of the Executive Council, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed, said.

"Dubai is a city that is constantly renewing itself, offering a fertile growth environment for investors from across the world.”

The UAE has introduced a number of regulatory changes in recent months with a view to attracting more investment into its economy. These have included changes to its visa regime offering citizenship to qualifying investors and reforms to its commercial company ownership laws removing the requirement for onshore companies to have a local sponsor.

The new platform contains interactive tools including a 'Dubai Business Map' that allows investors to search for opportunities within specific commercial zones and the city's free zones. It also has sector reports and statistics on foreign direct investment, as well as tools to search trade names and to obtain trade licences for more than 2,000 commercial activities, according to a Dubai government statement.

It allows potential investors to begin the process of setting up businesses by securing labour quotas, notarising contracts and gaining membership of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among other things.

The platform has been put together over a period of four months, with input from more than 20 local and government federal agencies, the statement said. These included the Ministry of Economy, Dubai Police, The Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Courts, Dubai Customs, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and Dubai Land Department, among others. It will be run by the Dubai Department of Economic Development.