Dubai: Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (Dubai Economy) issued 38,377 new licenses to businesses in 2019, up 90 per cent over 2018 when 20,129 licenses were granted.

The Department’s Business Registration and Licensing section said on Sunday that in 2019 it also saw a slight decrease in the number of licenses cancelled to 4,949 from 5,037.

In a statement, Dubai Economy said that the figures highlight the emirate’s economic competitiveness and its ability to attract investors to grow and expand their businesses. The growth in new licenses also comes as the UAE in July 2019 announced it would allow up to 100 per cent foreign investment in certain sectors of the economy, up from the 49 per cent limit that was earlier imposed.

Dubai Economy said that preparations ahead of the Expo 2020 later this year have contributed to attracting hospitality companies, restaurants, hotels, and supply companies.

In total, the new licenses issued in 2019 created 184,437 jobs. The business people who secured new licenses in the year mostly came from the UK, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, and Sudan.