SEDD releases 2023 annual report

March 10, 2024 / 9:43 PM
Hamad Ali Abdullah Al Mahmoud, Chairman of the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD)
Sharjah 24: The Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) has issued its annual report for 2023, highlighting key developments, events, measures, and efforts across economic sectors. The report serves as a comprehensive tool for stakeholders, showcasing achieved results and reaffirming the department's commitment to balanced and sustainable economic performance, as well as promoting business continuity in various areas.
Chairman of the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD), Hamad Ali Abdullah Al Mahmoud, emphasised the department's dedication to long-term goals and the need for well-thought-out procedures and action plans to manage problems and fast change. 

He emphasised the department's forward-thinking attitude, gaining inspiration from Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and aiming for excellence under the leadership of Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah. 

Al Mahmoud also highlighted the department's commitment to producing thorough yearly reports that demonstrate economic achievements, as well as its commitment to continued development in line with strategic objectives, with the goal of providing distinguished economic services with determination and a solid approach.
The department's records suggest that development indicators have grown significantly. The total number of awarded business licences increased by 2% to 7,738 licences, while renewed licences increased by 4.4%, totalling 58,627 renewed licences in 2023. This resulted in a 4.1% increase in both granted and renewed business licences in the emirate, with a total of 66,365 licences issued and renewed in 2023. The survey also identified a qualitative rise in commercial, industrial, adoption, and e-commerce licences, with growth rates of 6%, 15%, 21%, and 19%, respectively, in 2023 against 2022. Furthermore, the department tried to regulate economic activities and sectors by developing rules, standards, and procedures that were consistent with the existing economic condition.

Fahad Ahmed Al Khamiri. Director of Registration and Licenses Department reported an increase in business licenses issued and renewed across all sectors in Sharjah in 2023. Key activities included fuel stations, currency exchanges, and medical facilities. He highlighted Sharjah's ongoing efforts to boost development sustainability, focusing on economic and industrial sectors. The department works on various developmental initiatives, improving the business environment by adopting advanced systems and investing in human capital development for innovation and national capability building.

Khalfan Saleh Al Harithi, Director of Branches Department at SEED, emphasised the department's rigorous focus on economic development in all of the emirate's towns and areas. He added that branches of the department will issue a total of 7,738 new licences in 2023, representing a 2% increase. The Sharjah city branches, including the main headquarters and the industrial branch, issued the majority of these licences, totaling 6,474. The central region followed with 659 licences, while the eastern region had 605 licences. Furthermore, branch offices in Khorfakkan, Kalba, and Dibba Al Hisn assisted in the issue of licences in the eastern region.

The Sharjah city branches, including the main headquarters and the industrial branch, had the highest number of renewed licences with 47,649 in total. The central region followed with 6,084 renewed licences, while the eastern region had 2,542 renewed licences. Branch offices at Khorfakkan, Kalba, and Dibba Al Hisn made substantial contributions to the renewal of licences in the eastern region.

Al Harithi emphasised that these indicators reflect the emirate's long-term economic growth, which is supported by factors such as its strategic geographic location and ongoing development initiatives, such as the opening of various tourism, urban, and commercial projects, all of which are expected to increase investment demand.

Salim Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director of SEDD's Commercial Control and Protection Department, revealed that the department addressed 14,664 commercial protection complaints in 2023, representing a 24% increase. He stated that the increased number of complaints indicates the department's achievement in boosting investor and consumer understanding of their rights and obligations. Consumer protection complaints accounted for the majority of handled complaints, totalling 13,081, while complaints about service workers reached 797 and complaints about commercial fraud reached 786.

During the same year, the department calibrated 948 commercial and gold scales, with a 99% compliance rate with the country's recognised norms and specifications. 

Al Suwaidi went on to say that the department is always working to raise consumer awareness by encouraging a culture of consumer rights and duties within an ideal commercial environment defined by high awareness and impartiality in buying and selling across all economic sectors. These findings highlight the department's active role in protecting consumer rights and its ability to educate consumers while improving the emirate's economic and commercial standing. As part of its efforts to assure the safety of all economic practices in the emirate's institutions, the department will undertake 205,256 inspection rounds on the emirate's markets in 2023, encompassing all towns and areas.

According to Hamad Al Midfa, Deputy Director of the Legal Affairs Department at SEDD, Sharjah has successfully kept up with consecutive economic developments at the local, regional, and global levels, advancing attractive economic possibilities in a variety of industries. This is accomplished by ensuring that department policies and regulations are implemented in accordance with federal and local legislative enactments, as well as by developing administrative decisions, policies, and internal memoranda to manage workflow.

He emphasised that the department has implemented new solutions that are consistent with the Sharjah government's objective for a qualitative leap in procedures. The department is dedicated to constantly improving its services, developing its legal system to deliver the best and most complex services, making them easier for stakeholders, increasing operational efficiency, and utilising contemporary technologies to speed transactions.

Al Midfa stated that the department documented 18,176 corporate contracts in 2023, representing a 7% increase over the previous year. The contracts ranged from service agent contracts to establishment contracts, sales contracts, and other commercial contracts.
Ali Ahmed Al Naqbi, Deputy Director of the Information Technology Department, stated that 2023 saw significant developments in the digitization and enhancement of digital services for the Sharjah Economic Development Department, with significant and pivotal implications for the emirate's economy. The department worked hard to integrate with the unified Sharjah application, which resulted in the department receiving a higher number of digital services from the Sharjah Digital Platform.

In particular, the department received the highest score in the Sharjah government's data governance review. It also completed the new licencing system project with a 100% success rate, released the first edition of the business WhatsApp with six services, updated the department's portal with a new appearance and current identity, and totally automated internal operations and services. It is worth mentioning that the department's overall number of digital transactions reached 333,143 in 2023, representing a 2.7% increase.

Maryam Nasser Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director of the Industrial Affairs Department at SEDD, noted that the total number of industrial company licences issued and renewed in Sharjah reached 3,079, representing a 10% increase over the same time in 2022. 

She emphasised that the industrial sector is the primary driver of economic development in Sharjah and plays an important role in increasing the emirate's GDP. Al Suwaidi reaffirmed Sharjah's commitment to attaining its economic diversification goals through supporting government policies and regulations for the industrial sector.

She went on to say that the department has reached various milestones, such as establishing an industrial dialogue council, organising a forum for a sustainable industrial future, and holding seminars on industrial and legal metrology. In addition, the department made promotional visits to companies, participated in the industrial census project, and hosted the first industrial meeting.

Ahmed Saif bin Saed Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director of Commercial Affairs Department at SEDD, confirmed that the Sharjah Economic Development Department continues to implement strategies based on wise leadership's vision, which include providing support, guidance, and monitoring to entrepreneurs and project owners in the emirate. The department's goal is to provide them with novel and innovative solutions that will help them prosper in the economic and commercial markets, contributing to the local GDP and the overall economy of the UAE.

He stated that the total number of home-based licences provided was 256 in 2023, with 598 renewals. Furthermore, as part of its programmes and objectives, the department held various specialised workshops to train and educate entrepreneurs and project owners, allowing them to prosper, develop, and sustain their initiatives. 

The training includes using the best methods for marketing projects and building a business reputation, ensuring entrepreneurs' success and ability to meet labour market requirements, constantly adapting to business and investment sector changes, and addressing the various circumstances and challenges that economies and markets face. This eventually improves the business climate in the Emirate of Sharjah.

Abdullah Ali Mahmoud, Director of Support Services at the Sharjah Economic Development Department, highlighted the department's dedication to attracting national talent as part of its efforts to plan and drive comprehensive economic development in the emirate. This is accomplished by increasing and developing human resource efficiency. 

In 2023, the department's Emiratisation rate reached 96%, demonstrating its efforts to transform sensible leadership directions into a great environment for supporting national recruits.

Mahmoud went on to say that in 2023, 347 training programmes for staff members were planned in partnership with the Human Resources Department and several specialised centres and entities. More than 2504 employees took part in these programmes.

Furthermore, the department's strategic plan is to produce an inventive and creative human cadre armed with current scientific knowledge in order to keep up with future worldwide advances. 

The department keeps running training programmes for its university students, which aim to improve students' skills, knowledge, and capabilities so that they can contribute to various economic and service activities in both the public and private sectors of the country, allowing them to engage in work that is in line with the rapid development of all sectors.

Dr Ahmed Ali Al Ali, Deputy Director of the Strategic Planning and Performance Department, confirmed that the department received the PAS 7070 Benchmarking Process Management and successfully completed the internal audit programme in 2023. 

He emphasised that these accomplishments help to promote the system of excellence and institutional development by increasing the efficiency of strategic plans in accordance with the best worldwide standards. This assures the department's flexibility and ongoing response to changes in stakeholder demands and expectations, as well as the sustainability of outcomes under all conditions.

Regarding research on customer satisfaction with services, Dr. Ahmed Al Ali indicated that the satisfaction rating for services reached 96% in the previous year.

Noura Yousef bin Sandal, Deputy Director of the Planning and Economic Studies Department, remarked that the release of the annual report is an important yearly event that corresponds to the emirate's revival. It necessitates the availability of data, statistics, and analysis to investors and decision-makers. The study focuses on the most important economic indicators in the Emirate of Sharjah, with the goal of recording trends and economic ambitions for the region. This, in turn, makes the annual report more accessible to many organisations and provides insight into the Emirate of Sharjah's economic growth prospects and future. It tracks the emirate's economic growth by monitoring and recording all advancements and changes that occur each year across numerous activities and sectors, demonstrating attempts to improve economic development.

She said that the yearly report gives enough room to track the local economy in general as well as the Emirate of Sharjah's economic statistics. She emphasised that the 2023 results showed positive improvement in several economic indices in Sharjah, including the majority of sectors. 

In 2023, the department's Planning and Economic Studies Department performed six studies, produced the Economic Sectors Handbook (Agriculture Sector), and the Central and Eastern Region Briefing.

Abdulaziz Omar Al Midfa, Deputy Director of the Governmental Communications Unit at Sharjah Economic Development Department, stated that the department was successful in creating an interactive platform for its internal and external audiences and that it is regarded as the official source of news, information, and economic statistics, with the responsibility of showcasing its economic identity, improving its favourable image, and emphasising its distinguishing position in front of the business world in order to attract investments.

The department signed three agreements in 2023 to demonstrate its commitment to supporting and developing the emirate's economic environment, expanding its activities to meet the stage's requirements, and establishing a community partnership that contributes to laying the groundwork for the country's social and economic stability. During the year 2023, the department also welcomed 78 delegations to explore cooperation, share experiences, and strengthen collaboration between the department and other bodies. 

Furthermore, the department has participated in 45 local and international economic events, indicating its dedication to improving collaboration with all government and corporate groups in order to boost the emirate's position.
March 10, 2024 / 9:43 PM

More on this Topic

Rotate For an optimal experience, please
rotate your device to portrait mode.