Dubai – The Auto Renewal service introduced by the Department of Economic Development (DED) to facilitate licensing procedures accounted for 32.2 per cent of the licences renewed in Dubai in 2016. The service, which enables businesses to have their licenses renewed by sending a text message, was used for 35,396 renewals in 2016, underlining its growing popularity as a flexible and convenient option.
Omar Al Muhairi, Director of Development and follow-up Management in the Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector in DED, said Auto Renewal has helped the global investor community in Dubai save their time and efforts, and focus more on developing their business by utilising the advantages of the emirate as a hub for competitive and sustainable growth.
“The Auto Renewal service is witnessing increasing demand due to its varied advantages. Investors no longer need to visit any service centre or counter for license renewal; and the service covers more than 2,096 commercial activities, which means almost 99.8 per cent of all commercial licences and legal forms of companies in Dubai, and the renewal is done in minutes without the need for any external approvals,” Al Muhairi said.
The licences and activities where Auto Renewal is not possible now include four activities that require approvals from the Roads & Transports Autority (RTA) – involving renewals of private cars, taxis, luxury car rental and non-emergency passenger transport vehicles – and two others related to the Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM), which are inbound and outbound tours.
Jassim Al Qallaf, Senior Manager of Business Development in BRL, said Auto Renewal, which was introduced as part of the ‘Hassle-Free’ initiative of DED, has proved to be a quantum leap in enhancing ease of doing business for businesses and investors in Dubai. “All it takes is a text message from the client, sent to ‘6969’ with the license number to be renewed. The sender will then receive a payment authorisation in reply following which the payment can be completed electronically through the link provided in the message, or in any of the service outlets.”
License holders receive an alert one week before the expiry of their licenses. Businessmen should ensure that the rent contract of the licensed premises is valid before sending the text message. The contract can be renewed through authorised centres of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).
DED offers a number of payment options for transactions related to licensing, including push payment on ePay and the mPay business application. Cash and check payments are accepted across authorised banks and authorised service centres including, aafaq Islamic Finance, Noor Islamic Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai and Emirates Islamic Bank. Mashreq Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Commercial Bank of Dubai and Emirates Islamic Bank provide direct debit facility too.