64,089 licences issued, renewed in Sharjah during 2022

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Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) released the results of Sharjah’s commercial and economic activities report during 2022, where 64,089 licences were issued and renewed in the past year, with a growth rate of six percent over 2021. 
This report included 7,615 new licences issued and 56,474 renewed.
The department reviewed the results and the main developments and events in the economic sectors during 2022. 

This was done to provide a comprehensive tool for dealers in the emirate’s economic sectors and to introduce them to the most critical results it has achieved. This highlights SEDD’s efforts to make Sharjah the first economic destination locally and regionally in terms of innovation, confidence and happiness.
Commenting on this, Sultan Abdullah bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, SEDD Chairman, said that issuing such data is one of the most important economic indicators the department relies on to study the economic situation in the emirate. 

He affirmed that SEDD’s strategic goal is to achieve a comprehensive development plan that promotes economic development in Sharjah by developing services to match the highest international quality standards in terms of speed of delivery and access to dealers in the economic sector and investors in the emirate, and seeking to complete transactions efficiently and smoothly.
Also, he explained that the results of 2022 revealed a positive performance in many economic indicators and most sectors, despite the unbalanced global economic fluctuations and developments witnessed by the year. This comes within the wise vision of the government represented by H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and the follow-up of H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairman of Sharjah Executive Council, to provide economic facilities thus enhancing economic work and advance sustainable development in the emirate.
He added, “At SEDD, we work to improve the partnership between the public and private sectors to enable businesses to grow and prosper. We are keen to meet the requirements of investors and protect consumer rights and intellectual property in light of our endeavour to establish a sustainable, innovative, and knowledge-based economy.”
Al Suwaidi stressed that the economic strategy adopted by Sharjah Economy, which is in line with the directions of the wise leadership, ensures constantly evolving growth rates. 

He illustrated that the work and development is continuous in all cities of the emirate. This is clearly reflected in the expansion of projects, which attracts more visitors, strengthens the economy and increases investments in Sharjah.
Fahad Al Khamiri, Director of Registration and Licencing Department, said that the data issued by SEDD indicated that the commercial licences ranked first with 4,476 issued licences during 2022 and a growth of seven percent. They were followed by professional licences with 2,422 licences and a growth rate of 27 percent. With regard to industrial licences, the growth rates reached seven percent, with a total of 329 licences. On the other hand, “Eitimad” domestic licences hit 214, while the number of issued e-commerce licences reached 174. This is considered a positive indicator of investors’ concerns towards the emirate and shows the growth of the economy in various sectors, which confirms the stability and sustainability of the economic situation in Sharjah.
For renewed licences during the same period, the total commercial licences reached 36,416, at four percent growth, while the professional licences reached 16,910, at five percent growth. On the other hand, renewed industrial licences reached 2,401, at seven percent growth rate, and “Eitimad” domestic licences hit 628, with a growth of ten percent. As for e-commerce licences, they amounted to 119, with 78 percent growth.
Al Khamiri said that the data issued by SEDD indicate a noticeable increase in the investment movement in existing projects, which supports sustainable growth in Sharjah’s economy. This reflects the emirate’s strategy to maintain a good pace in growth rates during the next stage, which relies on its geographical location and the immense development witnessed by the service sectors, in addition to incentives.
Al Khamiri also pointed out that the service centres, considered among the strategic partners of the department, work in harmony with it to provide procedures and services that are essential for running businesses in the emirate. 

He illustrated that this provides a prestigious service environment for the business community in accordance with the highest standards and practices. It is followed by simplified quality services that attract investors and stimulate the economic environment in Sharjah. 

He stated that completed electronic transactions reached 243,997 during 2022, with a growth rate of three percent compared to the previous year. These were distributed over several service channels provided by the department, such as service centres, smart investors, calligraphers and automatic renewal services.
Khalfan Al Herathi, Director of SEDD Branches, said that the branches issued 7,615 new licences during 2022, realising a growth of 11 percent. Sharjah City Branches came in first with 6,349 licences, with a growth of 17 percent, while the Central Region Branch came second with 715 licences. The Eastern Region Branch issued 551 licences. The Khor Fakkan Branch released 255 licences in 2022, Kalba Branch issued 229, while the Dibba Al Hisn Branch issued 67 licences the same year.
As for renewed licences in 2022, Sharjah City branches were first with 45,361 licences, showing a growth of sic percent. The Central Region Branch came second with 6,286 licences, followed by the Eastern Region branches with 4,827. In details, the Khor Fakkan Branch ranked first among the Eastern Region Branches with 2,348 renewed licences, followed by Kalba Branch with 2009, and the Dibba Al Hisn Branch with 470 renewed licences.
Salim Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Deputy-Director of Commercial Control and Protection Department at SEDD, confirmed that in 2022, the department dealt with 9,722 complaints, a growth of seven percent. 

He clarified that consumer protection complaints accounted for the largest share at 8,179 out of the total number. Also, the number of commercial fraud complaints reached 855, while complaints from the service agent reached 688.
In addition, according to the data issued by SEDD during the same period, the total number of scales (commercial and gold) calibrated were 4,149. Also, the proportion of scales that conform to the approved specifications and standards in the country hit 97 percent of the total scales calibrated during 2022.
Salim Al Suwaidi added that SEDD seeks to enhance the consumer culture by educating consumers and investors about their rights and duties. This is conducted in an ideal commercial environment with a high culture of awareness and impartiality in buying and selling procedures in all economic sectors, following the highest international standards and practices. 

He pointed out that this confirms the effective role of the department in preserving consumers’ rights and the extent to which it can educate consumers and enhance the economic and commercial position of the emirate.
Concerning commercial control transactions in the emirate during 2022, the total inspection campaigns of the various economic establishments in the emirate amounted to 172,128 visits distributed to all cities and regions of the emirate.
When highlighting the legal role played by SEDD, Hamad Al Midfa, Deputy Director of the Legal Affairs Department at SEDD, said that the department contributed to supporting the economic activities in the emirate by launching several initiatives to enhance its business environment, while attracting investors to be a major and important partner in the business sector.
Al Midfa added that Sharjah succeeded in keeping pace with the successive the local, regional and global economic changes and continued to rise to promise economic prospects in various sectors. This was done by ensuring the implementation of the policies and regulations adopted by the department, derived from federal and local legal legislation, and the formulation of administrative decisions, policies and internal circulars regulating the course of work. 
He stressed that the department had adopted the best innovative solutions in line with the direction of the Government of Sharjah to reach a quantum leap in procedures. The department is keen to constantly improve its services and develop its legal system to provide the finest services and facilitate them for customers, raise operational efficiency, and use modern technologies to complete transactions. 

He pointed out that the department certified 82,975 contracts during 2022, at a growth rate of 26 percent compared to the previous year. The certified contracts varied from service agent contracts, memorandum of association contracts, sale contracts, and other contracts for commercial companies.
Ali Ahmed Al Naqbi, Deputy Director of the Information Technology Department, said that 2022 witnessed prodigious developments in updating and developing the department’s digital services, which came with pivotal repercussions and results on the emirate’s economy. The department also made intense efforts to link and integrate with the “Digital Sharjah” application, which resulted in the availability of the largest number of digital services on the Sharjah digital platform.
In detail, digital transactions in SEDD amounted to 97.6 percent, while transactions completed in less than five minutes reached about 61 percent. Several systems, services and economic indicators have also been launched, including the internal digital services system, the new version 3.0, the “Labeeh” system platform, the technical support operations efficiency index, the smart reporting system, and the portal.
Al Naqbi said that the department’s continuous improvement processes are a practical translation of the directives of the wise leadership and the digital transformation strategy pursued by Sharjah and UAE. This has contributed to achieving the highest levels of efficiency, flexibility and effectiveness in providing government services and making them available to customers anytime and anywhere through smart channels and easy steps. This reflected positively on the economic activities that witnessed a turnout, which indicates the stimulating economic and investment environment for business owners and projects and the diversity in various commercial activities.
Mariam Nasir Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director of Industrial Affairs Department, said that SEDD is keen to provide all means of support and incentives to companies and factories. This would be done in a way that effectively contributes to the development of performance and the sustainability of the industrial sector in the emirate. 

She added that this could be achieved by continuity of economic incentives for the industrial sector with a 50 percent discount when issuing a licence for three years, and re-engineering the procedures for issuing new licences to shorten them. This was done to ease procedures on investors and to permit the process of licencing an industrial office for one year, which significantly increased the number of industrial business licences. Therefore, the industrial sector grew 7.3 percent, with 2,730 industrial licences issued and renewed in the emirate during 2022.
Furthermore, Al Suwaidi emphasised that SEDD completed many projects and reports during 2022. These projects included the industrial office licencing project, the customer’s journey, updating the Sharjah Industrial Guide and launching economic indicators to implement the amendments to the Commercial Companies Law on foreign ownership. The department also launched many services, including the strategic partner ID “Imtiyaz”, the e magazine “Made in Sharjah with Pride”, and awareness messages to industrial sector investors about the services they are provided.
Additionally, Mariam Al Suwaidi explained that Sharjah has succeeded in creating an appropriate and strong legislative and legal environment that supports future visions and plans for the industrial sector and can keep pace with the fourth industrial revolution. 

It has also embodied the government’s directions to make the emirate a leading global model in proactively confronting the challenges of the industrial future. 

She also stressed that the industrial sector is one of the main drivers supporting the economic development in Sharjah and plays a pivotal role in enhancing the emirate’s GDP. 

She affirmed that the emirate works continuously to attain the targeted economic diversification by enacting government laws and legislations that support and encourage the industrial sector.
Ahmed Saif bin Saed Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director of the Commercial Affairs Department at SEDD, stressed that the department would conduct its strategies derived from the wise leadership’s vision in providing support, guidance and follow-up to entrepreneurs and project owners in the emirate. 

He also added that the department would provide this with new and innovative solutions in a way that helps them thrive in the economic and commercial market and achieves a return added to the GDP of Sharjah’s economy in particular and UAE in general.
Moreover, Ahmed Al Suwaidi pointed to the increase in the total growth rate of “Eitimad” domestic licences by two percent in 2022. 

He stressed that SEDD pays attention to this sector as an implementation of the directives of the wise leadership, which calls for helping young citizens to join the markets and practice economic work and support their businesses, initiatives, and ideas to strengthen the economic work in the emirate and help such category to succeed.
Al Suwaidi explained that the department provided several specialised workshops that fall within the programmes and plans to qualify, train and educate entrepreneurs and owners of new or existing projects, This would help them make their projects a success and continue to develop them and ensure their sustainability. He said this is done using the best means to market the project and build its commercial reputation. 

Al Suwaidi pointed out that this guarantees success for the entrepreneur, his ability to meet the requirements of the labour market, keep abreast of the changes in the business and investment sector, and face all the urgent circumstances and challenges facing economies and markets of all kinds and causes, to enhance the business environment in the emirate.
Abdelaziz Omar Al Midfa, Deputy Director of the Government Communication Department at SEDD, said the department successfully created an interactive platform with its internal and external audience. He illustrated that SEDD is considered the official source of news, information and economic reports in the emirate. It is the body responsible for issuing important critical data and indicators on which various agencies rely to study the economic situation in the emirate.
Al Midfa pointed out that SEDD signed eight agreements in 2022. This was done to develop the emirate’s economic environment, expand its activities, keep pace with the current stage’s requirements, and establish a community and complementary partnership that contributes to the establishment and sustainability of the economy. 

He stated that the department participated in 11 local and international economic forums. 
Al Midfa added that SEDD held 67 meetings during 2022, to discuss cooperation, exchange experiences, and enhance mutual work between the department and the various entities. It sought to improve work with all government and private agencies to serve the public interest of the emirate.