Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED) issued its quarterly report for the commercial licenses in Abu Dhabi. Out of the total registered 104,372 licenses by end of March 2011, DED issued 2309 new licenses, renewed 18,354 and cancelled 746.
During the first quarter, DED implemented more than 25840 site inspection visits all over the Emirate to protect consumers, brand owners and commercial agencies.
As per DED’s quarterly report, those visits resulted in issuing 1209 fines, confiscating 4319 various commercial goods, and settling 54 complaints by the consumers.
According to HE Aisha Al Sheikh Al Zaabi, the Acting Executive Director of Commercial Affairs, DED, Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 has inspired DED to set forward a clear-cut strategy to promote business sector and raise the profile of the Emirate as investment attraction by formulating plans, programmes, guidelines and laws that regulate business environment and ensure the implementation of best practices that allow Abu Dhabi a frontline competitive status internationally.
She also stated that this approach comes in line with Law number 2 for 2009 related to DED and its mandate to preserve a healthy business environment in Abu Dhabi free from negative phenomenon whilst upholding the rights of both the traders and consumers.
DED’s report shows that the Directorate of Commercial Licenses issued in the first quarter of 2011 about 2086 licenses for commercial activities, 167 professional, 33 vocational, and 23 creative licenses. The report has also highlighted that 13219 commercial licenses have been renewed: 4484 professional, 596 vocational, 46 creative, 8 industrial, and a license for agricultural, fishing and animal raising activities.
“The rapidly-growing increase of commercial licenses this year highlights the thriving commercial environment in Abu Dhabi in line with the huge urban development the Emirate is experiencing”, Al Zaabi said.
“This bears witness to the huge interest by businessmen and local and international investors to gain an investment opportunity in Abu Dhabi, given its healthy business environment fueled by its world-class regulation and management systems that allowed the Emirate an ongoing progress in the international competitiveness reports”, she added.
HE Al Zaabi also stated that DED endevours to optimize commercial activity systems Emirate-wide by implementing world-class business practices in line with the objectives of Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.
“DED is currently embarked on setting forward administrative, legal and technical procedures to launch its business centre which will leap procedures and transactions related to commercial activities in Abu Dhabi by allowing customers easier and faster tools to gain any commercial license.
DED’s report also shows the legal frame of commercial licenses for the first quarter of 2011 with individual companies at the top (1576 licenses issued and 14196 renewed). Limited liability companies came second with a total of 353 licenses issued, and 2389 renewed. This was followed by local company branches with 198 new licenses issues, 794 renewed and Emirate company branch came forth with 105 new licenses granted and 417 renewed. Two solidarity company licenses have been issued.
As a sign of gulf companies’ interest to expand in Abu Dhabi, DED issued in first quarter 10 new licenses and renewed activities for 30 others. As for foreign companies, 62 licenses for new branches in Abu Dhabi have been issued, and 284 branches renewed along with issuing licenses for 105 new branches in other emirates, and 417 branches renewed.
According to the report of DED’s Trade Affairs Section for the first quarter, 2 cooperative societies have their licenses renewed, 2 new licenses for free zones in Abu Dhabi were issued and one renewed. Besides, one joint venture, 21 professional companies, and 7 vocational companies have their licenses renewed.
The quarterly report for commercial transactions stated that 9260 new commercial names have been registered, 5380 licenses and advertisements were issued, 3834 press advertisements were approved, 746 licenses cancelled and 17 fines were made following inspection visits. Besides, 3913 initial approvals for licenses were granted, and 8894 licenses were modified.
In the first quarter of 2011, DED’s Inspection Section paid 8399 site visits in Abu Dhabi City were 780 fines were issued. In Al Mussafah, 5474 visits were made and 255 fines issued, Al Wathba (808 visits with no fines registered), the Western Region (4215 visits, 18 fines), Al Shahama (595 visits and 9 fines), and in Al Ain City 6349 visits were made and 147 fines were issued.
Al Zaabi adds, “Those fines as results of site visits for inspection included fake commercial products, advertising signage for shops, illegally promoted products, peddlers, as well as unlicensed activities”.
Commercial Agencies and Brands at DED’s Commercial Protection Section implemented 37 judicial seizures and received 54 complaints by consumers using DED’s call toll free 8008811 or via direct contact.
The report highlighted that DED, following its inspection visits for some certain goods, confiscated 4319 fake products in the first quarter. These included fake goods for renowned brands such as mobiles, garments, accessories, watches, glasses and bags.
The Consumer Protection Section issued a booklet in March this year on consumers’ rights and duties as part of its customer awareness and education programmes. Other booklets printed last year were distributed, including five publications on wise consumer, rules for exchange and refund, weights and benchmarks, consumers rights and duties, and a survey on customers. Five other awareness brochures were also given away, focusing on mobile phones, fake advertisements, cheated medicines, and peddlers.
In light of the consumers complaints and periodic inspectors reports, Consumer Protection Section implemented in the first quarter 8911 field visits to retails where 9 warnings were issued to shops breaching the laws of commercial activity practice.