Dubai government’s plan to issue ‘120 days hassle free licence’ is a good initiative for investors and more details are eagerly awaited. The Department of Economic Development (DED) will implement the initiative, aimed to give businesses in Dubai a head start and promote the emirate’s competitiveness by the end of 2012. This instant licence is a very good opportunity for new investors and will also help boost business activities in the emirate, but there is a need for one window operation like free zones where the licence is issued and then visas are immediately applied, according to business consultants. Outside free zone, labour computer card and immigration card has to be applied after getting the licence and then Ministry of Labour staff inspect the premises for the first visa, Jitendra Gianchandani, chairman & managing partner, Jitendra Consulting Group, told Khaleej Times. “It takes three to four weeks until first staff is hired, and before staff hiring you cannot start business. Instead of investors moving from one government to another government department, DED should have single window solution,” Gianchandani said. DED said the 120 days licence will allow the businessman to start his business immediately and complete the rest of the licensing requirements, such as approvals from other government authorities concerned, within the next 120 days. Gianchandani suggested that instead of issuing 120 days hassle free licence, all the representative of authorities concerned should have presence under one roof, that is at the DED, and they should clear the licence applications after liaising with all other government representative. Another business consultant said more details are awaited and there is time till the end of 2012. “It’s good, if it’s not limited to low-risk businesses and has wider scope,” Shobha Murray, marketing manager, Index Group, said. A simple trading licence takes one week to ten days and to set-up whole business it takes three to four weeks and in some case it goes to four months, she said. Business activities in Dubai have been categorised as No-Risk, Low Risk and High-Risk for the sake of evaluating the risk component. In 2011, DED issued 14,360 licences. The top ten business activities in Dubai accounted for 12,527 – 24.8 per cent – of the 50,589 activities for which licenses were issued in 2011, compared to a share of 11,733 in a total of 46,287 licensed activities in 2010. ‘General trade’ led the list of the top 10 licensed activities in the commercial category with 1,799 licences issued in 2011, compared to 1,543 licenses in 2010.