x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Capital on the fast track with licence handling

Abu Dhabi wants to drive up investment and encourage more business to start up, via its new business centre that opened last month.

The Abu Dhabi Government received more than 3,000 inquiries last year from businesses about commercial licences.

The emirate's Department of Economic Development hopes to raise the number of inquiries this year after the official launch this month of a fast-track hub, the Abu Dhabi Business Centre, to cut through red tape.

The centre has offices staffed by representatives of eight key government institutions and will be linked directly to a further 11 by the end of the year.

"The service aims to achieve coherence and complementariness between trade licensing service data and the relevant authorities, and to ensure the quality and accuracy of the information; thereby reducing document manipulation, raising the efficiency and level of government coordination, easing licensing procedures in the emirate and achieving the objectives of Abu Dhabi e-Government strategy," said Mohammed Rashid Al Rumaithi, the acting executive director of the commercial affairs sector at the economic department.

The department hoped the centre would help to generate more than the 3,016 commercial licence inquiries received last year, he said.

Officials believe the new centre, in the same building as the department and next door to the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, will attract investment and encourage more businesses to start up in the capital.

The World Bank's Ease of Doing Business report ranked the UAE 26 out of 185 economies this year, an improvement from 29 in 2012.

The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report, published in September, ranked the UAE 24th out of 144 countries, an improvement of three places on the previous year.