Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
More than 90 per cent of businesses fall into a low-risk or no-risk category, "and therefore a vast majority of businesses stand to benefit from the 120-days licence", according to the DED. Paulo Vecina / The National
More than 90 per cent of businesses fall into a low-risk or no-risk category, 'and therefore a vast majority of businesses stand to benefit from the 120-days licence', according to the DED. Paulo Vecina / The National

Fast-track licence for Dubai start-ups

Dubai's Department of Economic Development is to launch a new 120-day, "hassle free" trade license for business owners who want to start operations immediately.

Fledgling businesses in Dubai are to be offered a "hassle-free" trade licence valid for four months, allowing them to start operating immediately rather than waiting weeks or months for government approvals.

The licence is to be made available to eligible businesses by the end of this year through Dubai's Department of Economic Development (DED).

It would give owners 120 days to finish the usual licensing paperwork required to get started officially, although during this time they could also hire employees, test products and otherwise get their new ventures up and running.

"The 120-days licence is part of DED's efforts to enable businesses to make full use of the advantages of Dubai and improve the emirate's ranking in the Doing Business Report of the World Bank," said Mohammed Shael, the chief executive of the business registration and licensing division of the DED.

Globally, the UAE ranks 33rd when it comes to the ease of doing business overall.

But it holds the 42nd spot in a sub-ranking examining the ease of starting a venture, according to the World Bank.

Singapore was named the best, overall, for the ease of doing business, while New Zealand - where it takes just one day to start a business - offers the best environment for launching a new enterprise.

However, not all new businesses in Dubai will qualify for the DED's fast-track licence.

Restaurants, clinics and other business activities considered to be high-risk by the DED will still need to meet standards set by government authorities before obtaining the licence.

More than 90 per cent of businesses fall into a low-risk or no-risk category, "and therefore a vast majority of businesses stand to benefit from the 120-days licence", according to the DED.

Some say the new licence will help entrepreneurs get started faster - and generate revenue sooner.

"Honestly, once I registered the company, I was so eager to get started," said Dana Abdelhadi, who launched a public relations firm in Dubai nearly a year ago.

Ms Abdelhadi had anticipated the start-up process would take about 10 days, although it took her more than two months.

"I was waiting, and waiting, and wanted to get going," she said.

The DED did not specify how much, if anything, its new licence may cost business owners, which is a concern some may have if they also need to pay fees for the longer-term approvals process, said Jitendra Gianchandani, the chairman of Jitendra Consulting Group, a business advisory in Dubai.

Mr Gianchandani added that it was likely that other emirates would also have to follow Dubai with a similar licence for the UAE to benefit from a significant rise in the World Bank's ranking.


twitter: Follow our breaking business news and retweet to your followers. Follow us

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 Three generations of the Hakimi family tend to their stall Crawford Market in Mumbai. Subhash Sharma for The National

In pictures: Shopper’s delight at Crawford Market in Mumbai

Crawford Market is an old British-style covered market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. Later on renamed Mahatma Jotirao Phule, the market remains popular among locals and visitors by its old name, taken from Arthur Crawford who was the first municipal commissioner of the city.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National