Stock Dubai skyline
A magnet for businesses... Professional services was the single biggest category in new licenses issued. Image Credit: Antonin Kelian Kallouche/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai saw 42,640 new business licenses being issued in 2020 despite the impact the COVID-19 spread had on the economy and, in particular, on private sector enterprises. This represents a 4 per cent increase over 2019's tally.

More than 50 per cent of these businesses were focussed on operations in Bur Dubai (22,276), followed by Deira (20,293), and Hatta (71). The latest figures reflect the UAE’s and Dubai’s resilience as well as economic competitiveness, including its ability to provide businesses high-growth opportunities in various sectors," the Department of Economic Development said in a statement.

In terms of categories, 64 per cent of the new licenses issued were for professional services, 35 per cent were commercial and the rest were distributed among tourism and industrial activities.

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Renewals too

License renewals totalled 162,762 transactions in 2020, a 15 per cent growth year-on-year. "The growth validates the positive impact of the economic stimulus package launched" by Dubai, which allowed licenses to be renewed without lease contracts.


The number of auto renewal that took place via text messages during 2020, a 36.5 per cent growth on 2019