The Business Activity Report for 2022, issued by the Abu Dhabi Business Center, part of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), has reported growth of major indicators, reflecting the resilience and vitality of the business sector despite challenges in the global economy. 

The report also showed a high level of adherence to regulations related to protection of consumer rights and intellectual property.

A total of 25,593 new economic licenses were issued last year, and 73,212 licenses were renewed, indicating strong growth and confidence in Abu Dhabi business sector. 

A remarkable growth in professional, tourism and industrial new licenses reaffirms the attractiveness of these sectors to investors and the ample opportunities they provide for investors.

Professional licenses witnessed an increase of 161 per cent from 243 in 2021 to 635 in 2022. Tourism sector licenses grew to 181 in 2022 from 126 in 2021, an increase of 43.6 per cent, while industrial sector licenses rose to 243 from 206 licenses in 2021, a 17.9 per cent rise.

According to the Business Activity Report, 23,947 commercial sector licenses were issued in 2022, comprising 93.5 per cent of total new licenses. 560 occupational and 25 agricultural, livestock and fishery sector new licenses were issued in 2022.

His Excellency Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, said: “The continued growth of new and renewed economic licenses is a testament of the attractiveness of business sector in Abu Dhabi despite geopolitical and economic challenges that affected confidence of investors and businesses around the globe. It also reflects the success of policies and initiatives launched by Abu Dhabi to forge ahead with its diversification strategy and the ongoing improvement of legislative and regulatory framework as well as infrastructure and digital transformation in order to offer compelling opportunities in different sectors to investors. 

“We remain focused on constant enhancements of the public-private partnership ecosystem to allow businesses to benefit from and thrive, meet investors’ demands, and protect consumer and intellectual property as part of our efforts to achieve a knowledge-based, innovation-driven, and sustainable economy.” 

The Abu Dhabi Business Center’s report revealed that the Trademarks & Commercial Agencies Protection Department has conducted 5,169 monitoring visits and 213 inspection campaigns to ensure adherence of commercial facilities to laws and rules regulating the sector in the Emirate. Number of offences reported decreased to 420 from 479 in 2022, and 10 awareness workshops on differences between original and counterfeit products were organised.

The Consumer Protection Department has conducted 9147 monitoring visits and 153 inspection campaigns. It has settled 5064 consumers complaints related to products valued AED 27.6 million, compared to 4209 settled complaints in 2021.

Last year, Inspection & Control Department conducted185759  monitoring visits compared to 179457 in 2021 while offences reported decreased from 7080 in 2021 to 3813 in 2021. 

His Excellency Mohammed Munif Al Mansouri, Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Business Centre, said: “The 2022 annual report reaffirms vitality of business sector in Abu Dhabi in a year characterised by challenges at the international level. In addition, the growth rates recorded in 2022 are achieved from a high base as 2021 witnessed remarkable increase in economic activities with the recovery from COVID-19 impacts.”

In 2022, the Abu Dhabi Business Centre launched initiatives to enhance business ecosystem and ensure best conditions to investor to grow and thrive while protecting rights of consumers and intellectual property. It has launched, in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD), a consumer dispute resolution service to expedite settlement of disputes between consumers and commercial establishments in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, amicably, and at the best possible cost for the concerned parties. 

His Excellency Mohammed Munif Al Mansouri said: “As part of our ongoing efforts to ensure ease of doing business and support entrepreneurs, we expanded Tajer Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi Trader) license, which allows micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (mSMEs) to obtain the trade license without the need to work from a physical location or having to pay rent on commercial space for three years, by adding 126 new activities to it. Additionally, ADDED granted 1200 economic activities a one-year exemption from having a lease contract for work premises. We are committed to continuously improve Abu Dhabi competitiveness and status as preferred destination for business and investments.”