The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) is calling on members of the local business sector to make full use and advantage of the e-commerce license initiative that has been made available since its launch in December 2017. The move falls in line with the Abu Dhabi Government’s directives to provide citizens and residents with more smart digital services and to activate more e-commerce related activities in the emirate.
H.E. Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of ADDED, explained that the e-commerce license demonstrates the department's keenness towards further enhancing the emirate's e-business environment while also expanding the volume of services across many fields. He added that the licence provides more protection for e-commerce businesses through the legalization of its activities and facilitation of guidelines in preserving intellectual property rights for owners of projects, which in turn, allows them to practice their work properly.
H.E. Al Shorafa shared that since the launch of the initiative until the end of 2019, the total number of e-commerce licenses registered by the ADDED’s Abu Dhabi Business Center (ADBC) has amounted to 2388 licenses, including 1863 license’s issued for practicing commercial activities on social media portals and 525 license’s on websites. The high demand for licensing to work on social media channels was noted as these channels are more popular among consumers.
H.E. noted that the numbers of detected e-commerce activities represent more than twice the numbers recorded by ADBC as several business owners have not registered their licenses legally with ADDED. Al Shorafa shared that obtaining the e-commerce license will give consumers the confidence to deal with these business owners as the license is subject to compliance and adherence to regulations and laws covering economic activities in Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE.
Meanwhile, H.E. Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, encouraged those with economic licenses—whether commercial or industrial, and registered with ADDED—to obtain an e-commerce license by submitting an application and adding an e-commerce activity on websites or social media channels to their licenses.
Al Balooshi pointed out that this move will not only stimulate their businesses, but will play a key role in expanding their commercial activities, through establishing innovative marketing channels to further promote their services and products, particularly small investors and owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
H.E. commended the continuous support and cooperation between ADDED and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in activating the e-commerce licence initiative, which has greatly helped in the move to stop illegal practices on social media portals and websites that carry out fraud acts against consumers, adding that many of these accounts were closed after receiving consumer complaints with evidences..
Al Balooshi revealed that the current situation wherein the emirate has implemented preventive and precautionary measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), requires owners of economic licenses registered in Abu Dhabi to activate their digital channels to achieve the continuity of their business and investment activities and to attract consumers who cannot physically be at their stores or outlets. Business owners are urged to communicate with their target consumers using smart channels like mobile applications, social media channels, websites and the like.
The e-commerce license, which was launched by ADDED in cooperation with the TRA, is aimed at encouraging a regulatory environment and developing electronic initiatives that enable secure transactions and e-commerce activities in line with the Federal Law No. (1) of 2006 on electronic commerce and transactions and the Ministerial Resolution No. (1) of 2008 regarding the issuance of Certification Service Provider Regulations.
The ADBC of ADDED works on developing the electronic transactions and e-commerce sector through the implementation of initiatives and projects that help in developing and creating regulatory frameworks for these electronic activities. These initiatives are based on three main pillars—ensuring the transparency of trade exchanges and achieve consumer protection electronically; enhancing the credibility and confidence in electronic transactions, correspondences and records; and contributing to the development of Abu Dhabi’s digital economy.