The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED) is in the process of conducting a comprehensive review of all economic laws in force in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in order to identify areas that require legal amendments or enacting new legislations/regulations so as to improve the economic environment in the emirate. His Excellency Saeed Ghanim bin Hamoudeh Al Dhaheri, Executive Director of DED's Policies and Regulations Sector, said this step comes as part of DED's strategic initiatives within the framework of (Economic Legislations Review Program), under Law no. 2 for 2009 regarding Establishing the Department of Economic Development and its mandate pursuant to Abu Dhabi's Economic Vision 2030.Bin Hamoudeh pointed out that the project is being implemented by the Business Administration Regulation at DED in cooperation with a specialized consultant and through an integrated action plan which started by an initial comprehensive survey of all business and economic legislations and laws as well as international trade conventions in order to identify all required amendments to the existing laws and regulatory gaps that may require a new law or regulation.As such, the consultation paper which has been prepared included appropriate solutions resulting from the comprehensive survey of the laws, followed by consultations, coordination, and questionnaire with the relevant sectors, he added, noting that the Business Legislation Department has contacted 25 government entities notably the Ministries of Finance, Economy, Foreign Trade, and Justice, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, Department of Transport, Department of Municipal Affairs, ZonesCorp, Abu Dhabi Securities Commodities Authority, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development, and Western Region Development Council.The Department also collaborated with semi-government entities particularly major companies notably Abu Dhabi Investment Company, Al Dar Real Estate, Tomouh Properties, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Properties, and Al Qudra Holding.Bin Hamoudeh indicated that the fourth phase of the project will involve a comprehensive benchmark for the proposed amendments to be concluded by the specialized workshops against best practices on the local, regional and international levels. The fifth phase of the project will be concluded with the final recommendations presented for decision makers next April, he added.A field survey on private companies and institutions in the emirate was conducted, which involved 283 entities, 34% of which from the business sector, 33.5% from the industrial sector, and 17% from the tourism sector. As for the nationalities of the participants, foreign investors accounted for 59%, 36% of local investors, and 4% of GCC investors. Results of consultations were analyzed and examined accurately and scientifically in order to identify the proposed amendments and laws in order to present them in specialized workshops.
Mr. Habib Mohamed Abdulla, Director of Business Administration Regulation, said the first workshop, entitled The Role of The Department of Economic Development was mainly aimed at promoting the leading regulatory and economic role of DED in Abu Dhabi economic landscape.In this regard, he stated that DED's mandate as per law # 2 for the year 2009 is to achieve economic development in the emirate, regulate economic and commercial affairs by proposing the economic and commercial policy of the emirate, working out policies and procedures that contribute to the increase of economic growth through the implementation of best practices, utilizing international technology and expertise, and leading Abu Dhabi's economic agenda towards a balanced, diversified and sustainable knowledge-based economy in order to achieve Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.Habib added that among other specialized workshops being organized by DED, a workshop under the name Business Environment of Abu Dhabi and another workshop entitled Social Dimension of Economic Issues, were held in addition to other workshops relating to commercial companies, banking and financing sector, occupational and industrial sectors and real estate sector.He pointed out that the workshops target all parties concerned in the relevant internal departments at DED, all of its strategic partners, and some interested local and federal government entities in addition to representatives from the private sector, each according to its own field of expertise.The workshops aim to look into and discuss results of the consultation paper resulting from previous questionnaires by professionals with practical expertise representing the various concerned entities in order to come up with action-oriented and integrated proposals for the proposed legislative amendments paving the way to the creation of a favorable legislative environment and in line with the emirate's drive towards greater economic development, he added.Mr. Habib Abdulla emphasized that there is agreement among most concerned parties on the importance of coordination in the forthcoming stage to achieve uniformity of visions on all matters relating to all existing regulations and laws, in addition to avoidance of duplication of specializations and businesses at the various entities.