The National May 2, 2020
In the first quarter of the year, as the consumer demand for online shopping got a push, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dubai saw increased interest from start-ups in its e-commerce licence.
The picture unfolded like this: the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) issued its “DED Trader” licence to 943 new businesses during the first three months of 2020 – an increase of 179 per cent from the same period in 2019.
According to the government, the DED Trader licence is “enabling businesses to address challenges during the prevailing nationwide alert against COVID-19 with an easily accessible window regulated by Dubai Economy to set up and drive online enterprises. Additionally, it enables business continuity and sustainability during Covid-19.”
Tracking back, it was in 2017, that the licence was first issued by the DED’s Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) section, to allow business activities online and across social networking accounts.
Most importantly, the DED Trader allows for gained traction with female entrepreneurs and around 60 per cent of the licences issued till now, were given to women. Meanwhile online retailers are pushing their online offerings – to attract customers during the Covid-19 pandemic, since it has become a virtual world.
During the crisis, Dubai has focused on supporting small-and-medium enterprises via a number of financial packages.
After the measures imposed by Dubai’s government to contain the spread of the virus, now there is an ease on some restrictions on movement and commercial activities – as part of a gradual re-opening of the economy.