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Rental value of commercial space leased to companies reached Dh26.2 bn

January 13, 2020

Dubai, UAE

The total rental value of commercial space leased to companies reached D26.2 billion (US$7.13 billion) in 2019, according to a report by the Department of Economic Development (Dubai Economy), the business licensing arm of Dubai Government.

Dubai Economy reported a 90 percent jump in issuance of new business licenses to 38,377 in 2019, compared to 20,129 new licenses issued in 2018. Meanwhile, the past year also saw a decrease in the number of licences cancelled compared to 2018, from 5,037 to 4,949.

The Foreign Direct Investment Law (FDI Law) contributed to attracting and encouraging foreign direct investment to Dubai’s economic sectors and targeted activities. It allowed for an increase in the number of investors, which has led to more companies now setting up business in the emirate. The FDI Law also provides the framework for attracting foreign investment in various strategic sectors to build a globally competitive economy based on knowledge and innovation.

Dubai Economy has opened new horizons for businesses in Dubai by re-structuring economic activities with 50 commercial activities and 35 light industrial activities converted into professional activities. This, in turn, allowed investors to acquire 100 percent ownership, and motivated new investors to choose professional licenses and Dubai as a destination for investment in the region. The introduction of the Instant Licence and the DED Trader licence were also part of the enhancements to attract new businesses.

The preparations and countdown to Expo 2020 Dubai, which is expected to be visited by more than 25 million visitors, have contributed to attracting a large number of hospitality companies, restaurants, hotels and supply companies to invest in the city, it said.

“Overall, 324,773 business registration and licensing transactions were recorded in 2019, while the rental value of the units leased to companies in Dubai amounted to Dh26.2 billion as more businesses and investors gained from the emirate’s competitiveness and increasing opportunities across diverse economic sectors,” a statement said.

The outsourced centres, which are the foremost service outlets of Dubai Economy and key players in enhancing ease of doing business across Dubai, handled 247,550, or 76 percent of the total business registration and licensing transactions in 2019 out of the total 324,773 number of transactions, demonstrating their vital role in delivering value-added services to the public in Dubai.

License Renewal accounted for 140,951 transactions in 2019, including 108,407 licence renewals and 32,544  licence renewals and modifications, while 67,701  (48%) transactions were related to Auto Renewal via text messages.

Trade Name Reservation accounted for 53,037 transactions in 2019, while the number of Initial Approvals reached 43,300 and the total number of Commercial Permits were 16,271. This confirms Dubai’s attractiveness for commercial activities as well as the increasing business confidence in the strength of the local economy.

The report also showed that 2,531 instant licences were issued, processed in a single step without the need for either the Memorandum of Association or an existing location for the first year, while the number of DED Trader licenses, which allow to conduct business activities on websites and social media channels, reached 2,587 in 2019.

The businessmen who secured new licenses in 2019 included those from Britain, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, and Sudan.

According to report, 58% of the new licences issued in 2019 were professional (22,282 licences), 40% commercial (15,282), 1.6% related to tourism (613) and 0.4% industry (200), and together, they created 184,437 jobs.

In distribution of new licences, Bur Dubai accounted for the largest share (20,536), followed by Deira (17,798), and Hatta (43) licences. The top sub-regions in 2019 were: Burj Khalifa, Al Garhoud, Port Saeed, Trade Centre 1, Al Fahidi, Al Barsha 1, Al Marrar, Riggat Al Buteen, Oud Metha, and Hor Al Anz East.

Real Estate, Leasing and Business Services accounted for 41.7 percent of the economic activities licensed in 2019, followed by: Trade and Repair services (26.6%), Building and Construction (9.8%), Community and Personal services (9.2%), Transport, Storage and Communications (3.7%), Hotels (3.5%), Manufacturing (1.8%), Financial Services (1.7%), Health and Labour (1%), Contracting (0.4%), Education (0.4%), and Agriculture (0.2%).