Dubai: The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai announced on Sunday that it had issued 20,467 new licences in 2018.

Overall, 248,769 business registration and licensing transactions were recorded in the ‘Business Map’ digital platform of DED in 2018 — an increase of 4.6 per cent over 2017.

Among the main regions, Bur Dubai had the highest share of new licences (11,435), while Deira had 8,985. The top sub-regions were: Burj Khalifa (11.8 per cent), Port Saeed (6 per cent), Al Marrar (5.6 per cent), Al Fahidi (4.3 per cent), Naif (4.0 per cent), Dubai World Trade Centre 1 (3.7 per cent), Al Garhoud (3.6 per cent), Hor Al Anz East (2.6 per cent), Al Karama (2.4 per cent), Al Barsha (2.3 per cent) and Al Khubaisi (2.0 per cent).

Trade & repair services accounted for 31.6 per cent of the economic activities licensed in 2018, followed by: Real estate, leasing & business services (22.7 per cent), Building & construction (14.5 per cent), Community & personal services (9.7 per cent), Hospitality & hotels (7.2 per cent), Transport & storage (5 per cent), Manufacturing (2.9 per cent), Financial brokerage (2.6 per cent), health & labour (1.4 per cent), Education (1.4 per cent), Agriculture (0.5 per cent), Mining & natural resources (0.2 per cent).

The Business Map also showed that new business owners accounted for 77.8 per cent (19,481) of the licenses issued in 2018. Women increased their share among the new business owners to 22.2 per cent (5,543) from 12 per cent in 2017.