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Dubai Economy, previously known as the Department of Economic Development in Dubai. No you no longer need to visit their offices. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The Auto Renewal service of Dubai Economy has accounted for 68 per cent of the trade licences renewed (49,997) during the first four months of 2020.

Among the auto renewed licences, 73 per cent were commercial, and 24 per cent were professional. The Business Registration and Licensing sector in Dubai Economy also witnessed a 62 per cent increase in Auto Renewal transactions during the first four months of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.

The economic stimulus package launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council on March 12 to support business continuity in the emirate has made the process of renewing, as well as obtaining, a licence easier. The package enables companies to renew their trade licences without a renewed lease contract, in addition to offering a 12-month easy installment option for fee payments with zero down payment.

The increase in Auto Renewals reflects the progress in the efforts towards achieving the goal of the Government of Dubai to go completely paper-free by 2021.

Previously, a customer’s journey to renew a licence included four visits and seven steps: ‘Inquiring about the service’ on the website or through the call centre; then ‘Applying for the service’ (visit) to submit the required documents and obtain external approvals, followed by ‘External approvals’ (visit) based on the business activity and visits to government agencies to obtain approvals; attestation of ‘Lease/real estate ownership certificate’; ‘Submitting the required documents’ (visit); ‘Dubai Municipality payment voucher’, and finally, ‘Paying the fees’ (visit).

Now, business owners can renew the business licence through the Auto Renewal service in one step by sending a text message with the trade licence number to ‘6969,’ following which they will receive a ‘payment voucher.’ They can then complete the payment through any of the payment channels provided in the text message. This is done without any visits and zero paperwork.