Dubai Records 69% Rise in New Businesses


The report revealed that 55,194 new business licences were issued during the first 10 months of 2021, a growth of 69% compared to the same period in 2020, when 32,626 licenses were issued…reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Dubai has witnessed a 69% rise in new businesses in 2021, according to a recent report by the Business Registration and Licensing sector at Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism.

The report revealed that 55,194 new business licences were issued during the first 10 months of 2021, a growth of 69% compared to the same period in 2020, when 32,626 licenses were issued.


The positive growth figures underline Dubai’s reputation in providing high-growth opportunities in various economic sectors and the growing confidence in the economy.

According to the report, 59% of the new business licences issued were professional, and 41% were commercial. Bur Dubai accounted for the largest share (37,562) of new licences issued followed by Deira (17,572), and Hatta (60), while the top sub-regions during the first 10 months of 2021 were: Al Fahidi, Burj Khalifa, Port Saeed, Al Marrar, Trade Centre 1, Qubaisi, Al Barsha 1, Naif, Al Garhoud and Al Karama.

Among the legal forms of the new licences issued, the report showed that Sole Establishment companies topped the list with 38%, followed by Limited Liability companies with 28% and Civil Companies with 24%. The legal forms also included: One-Person Limited Liability Companies, Branches of companies based in other emirates; Branches of Foreign Companies; Branches of Free Zone Companies; Branches of GCC Companies, General Partnership Companies; Public Shareholding Companies; and Private Joint-Stock Companies.

The report saw 233,908 business registration and licensing transactions being completed during the first 10 months of 2021, a growth of 17% compared to the same period in 2020, when total transactions reached 199,888. The total number of renewal transactions reached 120,120, a growth of 3% compared to the first 10 months of 2020 (117,030).

The number of Initial Approvals reached 1,703, a growth of 44% compared to the same period last year (1,184), while Commercial Permits increased by 9% from 4,709 during the first 10 months of 2020 to 5,141 in October 2021.

Investors can obtain any trade licence or launch a business in a matter of minutes through ‘Invest in Dubai,’ the first integrated digital business set-up platform, which simplifies the business journey.

Licence fee exemption

The Government of Dubai has extended the five-year exemption given earlier to Emirati members of Dubai SME from paying licence fees as applicable under Article No. (10) of Law No. (23) of 2009, to seven years.

The decision is part of a series of initiatives aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and their startups to fully tide over the challenges brought by the global outbreak of COVID-19 and focus on their growth without cash flow concerns.


Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed lauded the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in continuing to create new opportunities as well as in positioning the UAE as a resilient economy and global hub for entrepreneurial innovations.

Under Article No. (10) of Law No. (23) 2009, the licensing fee applicable on SMEs was AED 1,000 for the first three years from the issuance of the licence, and AED 2,000 for the fourth and fifth years. The five-year exemption granted earlier contributed to reducing financial burdens faced by startups, which in turn enabled them to continue playing an active role in economic development in Dubai and the UAE.

In Dubai, SMEs constitute nearly 95% of all companies, employing 42% of all workforce in the emirate and contributing to around 40% of Dubai’s GDP.

Extending the fee exemption follows a series of incentives and assistance offered by Dubai SME under the directive of the government to ensure business continuity during the pandemic phase and the subsequent precautionary measures adopted.

The Pearl Initative

The Pearl Initiative, the leading Gulf non-profit organisation promoting a corporate culture of accountability and transparency, hosted 37 CEOs of leading regional and international corporations along with UAE ministers at Expo2020 Dubai for its annual CEO Council meeting to discuss the increasingly important role of the private sector in realising national policy agendas.

EXPO 2020

The convening also reviewed the Pearl Initiative’s updated vision strategy, PI Vision 2025, which builds on a decade of progress and looks to realise its mission to be the leading Gulf business-led organisation promoting corporate governance as a key driver of competitiveness, job creation, and sustainable economic growth.

The discussion also addressed the development of corporate governance best practices in businesses across the region, particularly in light of a global push towards embracing environment, social, and governance (ESG) measures as a business imperative.

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, and Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, joined the discussion.

“Embarking on a journey of sustainability has brought new economic opportunities to the UAE. The country has invested US$40 billion in clean energy ventures locally, and is home to three of the largest-in-capacity and lowest-in-cost solar energy plants in the world,” said Almheiri.

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“As a major driver of energy diversification worldwide, the UAE has invested close to US$17 billion in renewables projects in 70 countries. In addition to improving electricity access for the countries’ populations, the projects the UAE helps bring to life create job opportunities, support the development of local communities and economies, and cut down on pollution.”

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