Dubai: On Tuesday, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced the launch of Invest Dubai – a digital platform for entrepreneurs looking to set up shop in Dubai.
The new platform was approved during the Executive Council’s meeting held on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Sheikh Mohammed. The platform covers over 2,000 commercial activities and various licence types, Sheikh Mohammed said in his tweet.
Making Dubai the best, easiest place to do business
The new initiative is another step making Dubai the destination of choice for entrepreneurs from around the world. UAE had issued a law in November 2020 which scrapped the need for a UAE national to be the sponsor when starting a business on the mainland.
Starting from December 2020 entrepreneurs of all nationalities could start businesses with 100% foreign ownership. In the Ease of Doing Business score by The World Bank in 2020, Dubai scored a high 94.8, based on 10 factors and ranks in the top 20 easiest countries to start a business.
The Invest Dubai platform combines all the information, requirements and procedure of starting a Dubai-based business in one place. From getting information on the kind of licence you need to details on the funding programmes available, the platform offers a wealth of information for entrepreneurs.
The Dubai DED Instant Licence allows entrepreneurs to get a licence in 5 minutes with no pre-approvals. The Instant Licence allows entrepreneurs to start a business with no tenancy contract and no requirement for a bank account for 12 months. The licence is available to many categories of activities and four types of establishments – Limited Liability Company, One Person L.L.C, Sole Proprietorship and Civil Company.
The licensee gets an establishment card from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs along with three work permits for employees from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation once the trade licence is issued
While this licence itself is not a new feature, the Invest Dubai platform allows you to check availability of the licence based on activities, number of partners and type of company. It also shows you the fee payable if you were to go for the licence.
Business Setup Recommendation
For example, we checked the feature of Business Setup Recommendation on the platform for a restaurant with two expat partners with an option to try the civil company formation. The website instantly showed us the approximate costs for an Instant Licence while also showing a normal licence option.
Different company types can be checked on the website based on your search, and while some options are disabled, it shows you the company types you can check yourself if you know your activity and number of partners.
Invest Dubai Image Credit: Screengrab
Invest Dubai Image Credit: Screengrab
If you know what kind of firm you’re looking to establish, you can start your business through the platform. Clicking on ‘Start your Business’ takes users to the option of mainland or free zone business. Once you choose that, you can log in to the platform to start the process. Prospective investors can also use the UAE Pass to log in.
Once registered, the platform helps users manage the business through a personalised dashboard which includes an overview of partners, licences, key performance indicators and other features.
Where should I start my business?
For mainland or free zones, it is nice for a prospective entrepreneur to know where exactly to base his or her business. The business map on the platform has a heat map of active businesses in the emirate. It also shows active businesses, top activities, business age range, areas and major activities in those areas, top sub-areas, etc. Hovering over the map shows you the area name and the number of active businesses in the area. You can further filter these results.
If you’re unsure of which free zone to choose for your FZE, the platform has a feature to find the best one for your operation. The website shows 19 free zones available in total which you can then filter based on business sector or industry, licence type, facilities required, and amenities.
Residency and citizenship
The platform allows investors to go through and learn all the details of getting a visa or residency through investment. UAE also recently announced citizenship for investors, doctors, professionals, talented people, and innovators. The same group of residents can also apply to get a Golden Visa.
Apart from these, each type of licence, based on activity and type of company, gives investors residency options for themselves and their families. All these details can be easily found and used from the Invest Dubai platform.
For start-ups in the ideation stage, the platform is extremely useful since it gives various incubator options, funding programme details, and other features to understand exactly how, when, and where to start. The mentioned arenas for SME start-ups include the Hamdan Innovation Incubator (Hi2) in Dubai SME, Dubai SME approved incubators such as Re-urban Studio, Astrolabs, The Co-Dubai, etc., and the Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy.
News and success stories
Apart from this, the platform keeps interested readers updated with the latest news and press releases relevant to starting a business in Dubai. The website also features business success stories that can prove inspirational for the next crop of entrepreneurs.
*This article is based on information taken directly from the Invest Dubai platform and is subject to change at their discretion. For your specific business query or search, use the platform or direct your questions to them at 600500006.