The Department of Economic Development (DED) has issued 170 licences to branches of foreign firms in 2006. This is about 20 per cent more than the number of licences, 133, issued last year.
British companies were issued the maximum number of licences – 24. German firms were granted 13 licences followed by British Virgin Islands (11), Indian (10) and American (8) companies. Among the Arab countries, Lebanon topped the list with 6 licences issued to businesses from the country followed by Kuwait (3).
“The investor-friendly economic climate of Dubai makes it a preferred hub for businesses from the region,” said Mr Ali Ibrahim, Deputy Director General for Executive Affairs, Dubai Department of Economic Development. “Dubai offers distinctive advantages for businesses and has significant strengths with regard to the labour market, public finance, domestic economy, institutional framework and basic infrastructure. This is highlighted in the ‘Dubai in World Competitiveness Report 2005’, published jointly by DED and the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development.”
DED recognizes the role that the private sector plays in economic growth and has formulated policies and procedures to encourage foreign investment and create the right environment for international investors to do business in Dubai. “The Emirate has grown by an average of 12 per cent over the last five years with enterprises in Dubai standing to benefit from the availability of local capital, an evolved financial market and a pool of skilled workforce,” said Mr Ibrahim. “The growth of Dubai is also the result of greater co-ordination between the public and private sectors as is highlighted by the success of the Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Financial Market and the Dubai Quality Award.”
“Diversification has been the keyword in Dubai’s success story and today, the Emirate has successfully positioned itself as the hub of trade, tourism, IT, Media, finance and healthcare in the region,” said Mr Ibrahim. “The Department of Economic Development works towards building stronger and enduring partnerships with the private sector to ensure faster economic growth of the country.”
He added: “The Government of Dubai has invested heavily in developing and sustaining the city’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and continuously streamlines procedures and regulations to ensure that they are investor friendly. Dubai is easily accessible and has an efficient financial services industry and excellent internal transport network. This places it in the league of the world’s most efficient and cost-effective business centres. Add to it the benefits of no tax on personal and corporate income.”
© 2007 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )