The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) reported that it had issued 3,243 DED Trader licences during the first half of 2021, a 63% increase over H1 2020, when 1,989 licences were issued.
Launched by the Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector of Dubai Economy in 2017 to enable freelancers and start-ups to conduct business activities online and across social networking accounts, a total of 13,430 licences have now been issued up to the end of June 2021.
The growth reflects the focus of Dubai Economy on promoting e-commerce and economic competitiveness, as well as its commitment to realising the vision of the government to drive digital transformation and promote e-platforms that facilitate commercial activities.
A report issued by the BRL sector showed that males accounted for more than 60% of the total DED Trader licenses issued during H1 2021. Information Technology topped the list of activities of the licenses issued, followed by Readymade Garments, Ladies Tailoring and Design, Handicraft workshops, Gents Tailoring and Design, Food Preparation, Commercial Brokerage, Exhibitions and other Professional Services.
DED Trader licence holders are not permitted to open a shop but can obtain up to three visas if the ownership is 100% Emirati and legal liability falls on the licence holder. Other benefits include membership of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, bank facilities, a Customs Client Code for import and export via dubaitrade.ae, temporary employment services, participation in exhibitions, conferences and training workshop, displaying of products in consumer points of sale, and providing workspace.
Dubai Economy focuses on providing support to the DED Trader licence holders by signing partnerships with government and private sectors, providing facilities for their business growth as well as opening new channels by enhancing cooperation with major sales outlets.
Dubai Economy partnered with noon.com, the region’s leading homegrown digital marketplace, to connect local start-ups with customers across the region through its ‘Mahali’ digital store. Mahali by noon.com is a programme designed to offer Emirati start-ups with digital business support and expertise, enabling them to grow their businesses online.
Dubai Economy has also partnered with ‘MyFatoorah’ to facilitate e-payments for transactions related to DED Trader licences, ‘talabat’ to display and sell food items through its platform and with ‘Akshaak’ to display and sell products of DED Trader licence holders online for free.