Amid reports of declining economic growth and waning business confidence, Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED) paints a different picture altogether as it announces a positive growth in the number of permits issued in the third quarter of 2016.
DED said on Monday that it saw a ten per cent increase in permits issued for various business activities during the three months ending September 30, compared with the same period in 2015.
According to the figures issued by the department, a total of 39,000 permits were issued as discount sales and special offers grew by 213 per cent, reaching 1,647 permits from the 526 issued in the corresponding period a year earlier. Promotional campaign permits saw a 99 per cent increase, and trade fair permits rose 23 per cent.
Walid Abdul Malik, director of Commercial Permits Management at DED, said the significant rise in permits issued is largely due to the improved flexibility of procedures as well as the rise in the number of outlets for receiving commercial permit requests to 18.
“The increase in the number of commercial permits indicates the success of the various initiatives being launched by the Department of Economic Development to improve ease of doing business in line with the economic development strategy of Dubai. DED seeks to continuously build confidence among investors and business owners, as well as enable them to promote their products and services across Dubai,” Abdul Malik said.
The nature of permits that were high on demand in Q3 2016 also reflected the growing interest among retailers to explore diverse options, he added.
“Permits for raffle draws and instant prizes, as well as tasting and sampling, accounted for the lion’s share of the promotions permitted during the third quarter of 2016. Nearly 55 per cent of the 1,320 instant prize permits were related to travel campaigns and the rise in diverse retail activity permits varied from 30 per cent to 183 per cent.”
Meanwhile, Khalid Al Marri, senior manager for Commercial Permits in DED, said the third quarter results also point towards growth in spending on advertisements.
“The largest increase of 48 per cent was in permits for banner ads and electronic ads came second with a 44 per cent increase. Naming of internal roads and newspaper advertisements also fall into this category,” Al Marri said.
He added that there was also a 23 per cent rise in trade fair permits, which, according to him, indicates that the exhibitions industry in Dubai is also on a growth path.
“DED has increased the number of outlets to receive requests from business owners and facilitate customer access to our services, from eight in 2015 to 18 presently. It’s a 125 per cent increase and has led to substantial growth in the number of transactions completed.
“Overall, the activities permitted and growth in the number of permits indicate a robust private sector and dynamism of business in Dubai, and the UAE in general,” added Al Marri.