Sharjah Economic Development Department releases 2023 results

Sharjah Economic Development Department releases 2023 results

11 March 2024, Emirates News Agency

SHARJAH, 10th March, 2024 (WAM) — Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) released the data results for the past year 2023. The report included the most important developments and events witnessed by the economic sectors and the procedures and efforts taken by the Department in all sectors and activities.

This is done to provide a comprehensive tool for customers in the economic sectors in Sharjah and introduce them to the most important results SEDD has achieved, in confirmation of its efforts aimed at achieving balanced and sustainable economic performance and enhancing business continuity in various fields.

In this context, Hamad Ali Abdulla Al Mahmoud, Chairman of SEDD, said that the Department is moving towards its sustainable goals in which it realizes the scale of the challenges and the level of rapid changes that require the presence of methodologies and thoughtful work plans, and looks forward to the future in economic and development work. This is done in implementation of the wise vision of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and the continuous pursuit of H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Executive Council, to ensure attaining global competitiveness and raise performance indicators in various fields.

He a added that SEDD worked to issue the best and most comprehensive annual reports, with the aim of documenting the economic development achievements of the Department and pointed out that the statistics and data included in the report reflect the extent of the efforts made by SEDD in carrying out its tasks. Also, HE stressed that the Department focuses on continuous development in accordance with what is required by its strategic objectives and its aspirations to provide distinguished and exceptional economic services.

According to data issued by SEDD, the indicators achieved remarkable growth, as the total number of business licenses issued grew by 2% to 7,738 ones whereas renewed licenses achieved a growth of 4.4%, with 58,627 ones during 2023. This contributed to the emirate achieving a growth in the number of issued and renewed licenses, which amounted to 4.1%, with a total of 66,365 thousand issued and renewed licenses during 2023. The report also recorded a qualitative increase in issued commercial and industrial licenses, “Eitimad” licenses, and e-Commerce, with rates reaching 6%, 15%, 21%, and 19%, respectively, in 2023 compared to 2022. Also, SEDD paid great attention to regulating the practice of economic activities and sectors by setting policies, standards and regulations in accordance with the current economic situation.

From his side, Fahad Al Khamiri, Director of Registration and Licensing Department, said that the data issued by SEDD confirmed the increase in the total number of issued and renewed licenses in all economic sectors during 2023. He pointed out that the most important activities of the issued licenses included gas stations, money exchange shops, transporting petroleum products, selling gold and jewelry, clinics, medical centers and schools.

Al Khamiri added that Sharjah is constantly seeking to provide many incentives that contribute to enhancing the continuity of development in various fields. This has strengthened the economic and industrial sectors, whereas SEDD focuses to work on a number of development sectors, not just economic activities. Such thing was accomplished through continuous development of business environment through business reconciliation processes, the use of the latest systems and technologies such as the Smart Investor and continuing to adopt quality systems for business continuity management. This ensured the quality performance of digital services in the business environment, and development in the areas of human capital in building innovative capabilities and investing in national capabilities and competencies in universities.

On the other hand, Khalfan Al Herathi, Director of SEDD Branches Department, said that the Department pays great attention to economic development in all cities and regions of the emirate. Thus, SEDD branches issued 7,738 new licenses during 2023, with a growth of 2%. The main branch in Sharjah and the Industrial Area Branch, came in first place with 6,474 licenses issued, and the Central Region Branch came second with 659 licenses issued, then the Eastern Region Branch with 605 licenses issued. In details, Khor Fakkan Branch topped the Eastern Region Branches with 280 licenses issued, followed by Kalba Branch with 265 issued licenses, and then Dibba Al Hisn Branch with 60 issued licenses.

As for renewed licenses by branch, Sharjah City branches, which included the Department’s main headquarter and the Industrial Area Branch, came in first place with 47,649 renewed licenses, the Central Region came in second with 6,084 renewed licenses, then the Eastern Region Branch hit 2,542 renewed licenses. In details, Khor Fakkan Branch topped the Eastern Region Branches with 2,420 renewed licenses, followed by Kalba Branch that reached 2,044 renewed licenses, and then Dibba Al Hisn Branch with 430 renewed licenses.

Al Herathi stressed that the indicators specify sustainable growth for the emirate’s economy, which depends on attractive elements that include the distinctive geographical location and is supported by the continuity of the development movement. It should be noted that the number of tourist and urban facilities and tourism and commercial projects have been allowed to be practiced, which will contribute to increasing the demand for investment in them.

When it comes to protecting and supervising markets, Salim Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director of Commercial Control and Protection Department at SEDD, confirmed that the Department processed 14,664 commercial protection complaints that it received during 2023, with a growth rate of 24%.He pointed out that the growth in the number of complaints is evidence of the success of the Department’s efforts in educating investors and consumers about their rights and duties. He emphasized that consumer protection complaints accounted for the largest share of the number of complaints received by SEDD, reaching 13,081 complaints out of the total complaints processed, while the number of service agent complaints hit 797 complaints, and the commercial fraud complaints amounted to 786 complaints.

According to data issued by the Department during the same period, the total number of commercial and gold scales that were calibrated reached 948 scales. Also, the percentage of scales conforming to the specifications and standards approved in the country reached 99% of the total scales that were calibrated during 2023.

Al Suwaidi added that the Department always seeks to enhance consumer culture by educating consumers and investors about their rights and duties. This is done through an ideal commercial environment with a high culture of awareness and neutrality in purchasing and selling procedures in all economic sectors, following the highest international standards and practices. These results confirm the effective role played by SEDD in preserving consumers’ rights, and the extent to which it is able to educate consumers and enhance the economic and commercial position of the emirate.

Also, as part of its concerns and efforts to ensure the safety of all economic practices in economic establishments in Sharjah, SEDD carried out 205,256 inspection campaigns on the emirate’s markets during 2023, distributed across all cities and regions of the emirate.
Additionally, Hamad Al Midfa, Deputy Director of Legal Affairs Department, said that Sharjah has succeeded in keeping pace with the successive economic changes at various local, regional and global levels and has continued to advance to promising economic prospects in various sectors. This is done by ensuring the implementation of policies and regulations adopted in the Department, derived from federal and local legal legislation, and formulating administrative decisions, policies and internal circulars regulating the course of work.

Also, Hamad Al Midfa stressed that the Department has adopted the best innovative solutions that are in line with the Government of Sharjah approach to achieving a qualitative shift in procedures, as the Department is keen to constantly improve its services and develop its legal system, to provide the best and finest services and facilitate them for customers, raise operational efficiency, and use modern technologies to complete transactions.

In addition, He pointed out that SEDD certified 18,176 company contracts during 2023, with a growth rate of 7% compared to the previous year, and the contracts that were documented varied to include a service agent contracts, Memorandum of Association contracts, sales contracts and other commercial company contracts.

On the other hand, Ali Ahmed Al Naqbi, Deputy Director of Information Technology Department, confirmed that 2023 witnessed major developments in modernizing and improving SEDD digital services, which had pivotal implications and results on the emirate’s economy. He carried on that the Department made great efforts to link and integrate with Sharjah Unified Application, which resulted in the largest number of SEDD digital services being available on Sharjah Digital Platform.

In detail, Al Naqbi illustrated that the Department won first place in the data governance evaluation among Sharjah Government departments. It also completed 100% of the new licensing system project, completed the WhatsApp Business project, the first version, with 6 services, developed the Department’s portal with a latest and modern identity, and comprehensive automation of internal operations and services in the Department. It is worth mentioning that the total digital transactions received by the SEDD reached 333,143 in 2023, with a growth rate of 2.7%.

As for the industrial sector, Mariam Nasir Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director of Industrial Affairs Department at SEDD, pointed out that the total number of industrial licenses issued and renewed in Sharjah reached 3,079 licenses, with a growth rate of 10% compared to the same period in 2022.

Mariam Al Suwaidi stressed that the industrial sector is one of the main drivers supporting economic development in Sharjah and plays a pivotal role in enhancing the emirate’s domestic product. She emphasized that Sharjah would continue to work on achieving targeted economic diversification through government laws and legislation that support and encourage the industrial sector.

Likely, she added that SEDD has made many achievements, including establishing an industry dialogue council, a forum towards a sustainable industrial future, and an industrial and legal metrology workshop, in addition to conducting a number of promotional visits to factories, participating in the industrial census project, and organizing the first industrial meeting.
Furthermore, Ahmed Saif bin Saed Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director of Commercial Affairs Department, confirmed that Sharjah Economic Department will continue its strategies derived from the vision of the wise leadership of providing support, guidance and follow-up to entrepreneurs and project owners in the emirate, and providing them with new and innovative solutions. He stated that this will help entrepreneurs to succeed in the economic and commercial market and will support them to achieve a return that is added to the domestic product of Sharjah’s economy in particular and UAE in general.

He pointed out that the total number of “Eitimad” domestic licenses issued amounted to 256 licenses during 2023, while the licenses renewed for “Eitimad” license hit 598 ones.
Ahmed Al Suwaidi clarified that SEDD also provided several specialized workshops that fall within its programs and plans to qualify, train, and educate entrepreneurs and owners of new or existing projects so that they will be able to make their projects successful, to ensure their sustainability and continuity in the market by using and adopting the best means to market the project and how to build a commercial reputation for it. This ensures the success of the entrepreneur, his ability to meet the requirements of the labor market, constantly keep pace with the changes in the business and investment sector and confront all urgent circumstances and challenges facing economies and markets of all types and causes, leading to strengthening the business environment in Sharjah.

Moreover, Abdulla Ali Al Mahmoud, Director of Support Services Department at SEDD, stressed the Department is concerned about attracting national competencies, as part of its endeavour to plan and lead comprehensive economic development in the emirate by improving and developing the efficiency of human resources. Accordingly, the Emiratisation rate in the Department reached 96% during 2023, as the Department works to translate the directives of the wise leadership to provide an ideal environment to support national cadres.

Abdulla Al Mahmoud explained that the total training programs in which the Department’s employees participated during 2023 amounted to 347 programs, which were organized in cooperation with the Human Resources Department and several specialized centers and entities, and the number of Department employees’ participation in them reached more than 2,504 participants.
Also, He added that the Department is keen, through its strategic plan, to work on building an innovative and creative human cadre with knowledge of all modern sciences to keep pace with future global developments, which will have a positive impact on supporting the sustainability of the knowledge-based economy. Abdalla Al Mahmoud also stressed that SEDD will continue to implement its training program for university students, which it organizes with the aim of enhancing their skills and knowledge and developing their competencies and abilities. He believes that this will contribute to enhancing their future contribution to various economic and service activities in the public and private sectors in the country, so that they will be able to engage in work in line with the rapid development taking place in all sectors.

Besides, Dr. Ahmed Ali Al Ali, Acting Deputy Director of Strategic Planning and Performance Department at SEDD, said that during 2023 the Department obtained ISO 7070PAS of benchmarking management system and passed the internal audit program. He stressed that these successes contribute to supporting the system of excellence and institutional development and raising the efficiency of strategic plans, in accordance with international best practices, ensuring the Department’s ability to respond flexibly and continuously, to keep pace with any changes in the needs and expectations of customers, and to ensure the sustainability of results in all circumstances. Al Ali stated that the studies on customer satisfaction and services showed satisfactory results whereby the customer satisfaction rate with SEDD services reached 96% during the past year.

To continue, Noura Yousef Bin Sandal, Deputy Director of Planning and Economic Studies Department, said that the issuance of the annual report is considered an important annual event that keeps pace with the renaissance witnessed by the emirate. She clarifies that such thing requires the availability of data, statistics and analyzes for investors and decision makers, as the report monitors the most important economic indicators in Sharjah with the aim of documenting economic developments and visions of the emirate. This, in turn, makes it easier for various parties to view the annual report and deduce the prospects and future of economic development in Sharjah whereas it documents the economic progress of the emirate by monitoring and recording all developments and changes that occur annually at the level of various activities and sectors, and reflects the efforts made to advance economic development process.
Bin Sandal explained that the annual report allocated sufficient space to track the local economy in general and the economic indicators of Sharjah in particular. She confirmed that the results of 2023 revealed positive performance in many economic indicators in the emirate, and included most sectors, as the Department worked on 6 studies during 2023, issued the economic sectors booklet – the agricultural sector, and issued the central and eastern region booklet.
On the other hand, Abdulaziz Omar Al Midfa, Deputy Director of Government Communications Department at SEDD, confirmed that the Department succeeded in creating an interactive platform with its internal and external audiences. Al Midfa indicated that SEDD is considered the official source of news, information and economic data, and it is the body responsible for highlighting its economic identity, enhancing its positive image and highlighting its distinguished role before the business community to attract investors.

Al Midfa also stated that the Department signed 3 MOUs during 2023. He emphasized that these agreements are derived from SEDD’s concerns to support and improve the economic environment in the emirate, and to expand its activities to keep pace with the requirements of the stage, and in order to establish a community and integrated partnership that contributes to establishing social and economic stability in the country. Al Midfa added that SEDD also received 78 delegations during 2023. Such thing displays the Department’s concerns to discuss ways of cooperation, exchange experiences, and enhance mutual work between the Department and various entities.

Al Midfa carried on that the number of participations in local and international economic forums reached 45, as the Department is keen to enhance work with all government and private agencies in a way that contributes to strengthening the position of the emirate locally and internationally.

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