Dubai issues 18,013 e-Trader licences to date

Initiative allows start-ups and freelancers in Dubai to leverage online and social media for business growth


Muzaffar Rizvi

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Of the total licences issued in past five years, 13,671 are professional and 4,342 are commercial. — File photo
Of the total licences issued in past five years, 13,671 are professional and 4,342 are commercial. — File photo

Published: Mon 25 Apr 2022, 5:12 PM

Dubai on Monday disclosed that it issued more than 18,000 e-Trader licences since the initiative launched in March 2017, reflecting the emergence of e-commerce as an important economic activity in the emirate.

Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector in the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Dubai, said over 18,013 e-Trader licences have been issued since the launch of the initiative in March 2017 until end-March 2022.

The e-Trader licence enables start-ups and freelancers in Dubai to conduct business activities online and across social networking accounts. Of the total licences issued in past five years, 13,671 are professional and 4,342 are commercial.

More licence issued in Q1

The department said it issued 1,605 e-Trader licences during the January-March 2022 quarter with 1,334 and 271 licences awarded to professional and commercial categories, respectively. This reflects the continuous focus on promoting e-commerce and the competitiveness of Dubai’s economy, as well as the commitment to realising the vision of the government to drive digital transformation and build awareness about the e-platforms that facilitate commercial activities.

According to the BRL sector’s report, portal, marketing services via social media, marketing management, web-design, social media applications development and management, project management services, fashion designing, blogging services, ladies and men garments trading, internet content provider, calligraphers & painters, and perfumes & cosmetics trading, topped the list of activities of the licences issued during first quarter of 2022.

“E-Trader aims to licence startups and business activities that operate from their place of residence, online or on social networking sites. The licence, which is issued electronically, empowers and guides traders to successfully enter the business world,” according to the statement issued by Dubai DET.

Ease of doing business initiative

Through e-Trader licence, the BRL sector seeks to regulate and enhance ease of doing business electronically by providing a platform that supports and develops trade as well as connect customers with traders. The licensee cannot open a shop/store but can avail of three visas if the ownership is 100 per cent Emirati and legal liability falls under the licence holder. The sector focuses on providing support to e-Trader licence holders by signing partnerships with government and private sectors, providing facilities for their business growth as well as opening new channels by enhancing cooperation with major sales outlets.

The benefits of getting the e-Trader licence include: getting Dubai Chamber membership for commercial activities; privileges/offers from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Mashreq Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Emirates Islamic and Dubai Islamic Bank; getting Customs Client Code, which facilitates import and export via, temporary employment services, participation in exhibitions & conferences and training workshop, displaying of products in consumer points of sale and providing work space.

The e-Trader licence can be obtained within minutes by registering on, the first integrated digital business set-up platform that simplifies the business journey for investors in Dubai.


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