Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED) announced today that it issued 9979 new licenses in 2010. Out of those licenses are 8772 commercial, 893 professional, 161 vocational, 146 creative, 6 industrial, and one agricultural and animal livestock. DED stated that the registered commercial licenses were totalled 102,063 by end of last year. According to the annual report by Commercial Licenses Directorate, which is part of the DED’s Commercial Affairs Section, 67829 licenses were renewed last year: 47704 commercial, 17603 professional, 2241 vocational, 257 creative, 21 industrial, and 3 for agricultural, fish and animal livestock activity licenses. HE Aisha Al Zaabi, the CEO of Commercial Affairs at the DED, stated that rapidly-growing landscape of commercial activities in Abu Dhabi bears witness to the huge interest of businessmen and local and foreign investors to operate in Abu Dhabi, which, empowered by world-class administrational and legislative systems, has achieved a remarkable progressive in the global competitiveness reports.
“The DED strives to streamline an emirate-wide commercial activities system by adopting world-class business practices that are in line with the objectives of Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.
The general index for the Commercial Affairs Section with regards to commercial licenses for 2010 highlights high demands for various commercial activities by local and foreign businessmen. Such high level of growth has been fuelled by a package of facilities and procedures implemented by the DED with an aim to expedite license approval process for any commercial activity”, she added.
The report also highlights the type of commercial licenses and their legal framework. In 2010, the total number of individual companies was 6106 while 48,332 companies were renewed. 2322 Limited Liability Companies (LLC) were licensed last year, compared to 12436 that had their licenses renewed.
“Corporation has been the dominant legal framework for commercial activity in Abu Dhabi, thereby reflecting the high growth of service sector in the Emirate and its endevours to excel in providing integrated services for the local economy system”, Al Zaabi explained. The DED’s report indicates that 5 new licenses were issued to privately joint companies and 66 other companies were renewed. The DED licensed 5 new publicly joint companies and 103 others were renewed last year.
Al Zaabi explains, “The formation of such companies in Abu Dhabi underpins the high profile development projects being undertaken in Abu Dhabi as well as the trust of both national and foreign businessmen in commercial, investment and business environment of the Emirate.”
Highlighting the growing interest of GCC companies to expand in Abu Dhabi, Al Zaabi stressed that 19 new licenses have been granted to GCC companies, and 117 were renewed. On the other hand, 205 branch licenses for foreign companies were issued in 2010 and 823 renewed. 483 licenses for company branches from other emirates were granted, 1539 renewed, in addition to licensing 806 new local companies, and renewing 3143 others.
The DED’s reports also shows that 7 new branches of free zones were licensed in 2010 and 9 renewed, 2 corporate societies were licensed and 6 renewed. One joint venture, 88 professional companies and 127 vocational had their licenses renewed.
“The commercial activity growth in Abu Dhabi and Eastern and Western Regions, coupled with opening new grand malls and high purchase power by consumers have geared local, GCC, Arab and international companies to expand in the Emirate, thereby raising the profile of Abu Dhabi as one of the leading shopping destination in the region”, Al Zaabi concluded.
The report also highlighted that Commercial License Directorate cancelled 2117 in 2010 owing to various reasons, mainly by the will of their owners, which leads to some administrational and legal procedures. Other reasons for cancellation are a result from failure to renew licenses for a period of three years.