Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development revealed that Emirati citizens hold 58% of the total licenses issued in the retail sector in Abu Dhabi until the end of 2019.

The department stated that the number of licenses issued to citizens in the retail sector in Abu Dhabi until the end of 2019 was 24,86 licenses, out of the total number of licenses issued which amount to 41,504 licenses.

Distribution of licenses

According to the data obtained by «Emirates Today» from the Department, the number of citizens ’licenses in Abu Dhabi City reached 14,947 licenses out of a total of 27,584 licenses, representing 54.28% of the total licenses issued in the city.

The number of citizens ’licenses in“ Al Ain Region ”reached 7,375 licenses out of a total of 11,482 licenses, representing 64.3% of the total issued licenses, while the total number of citizens’ licenses in the “Al Dhafra Region” reached 1764 licenses out of a total of 2438 licenses, representing 72.4% of the total Number of licenses in the region.

Abu Dhabi Merchant

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development stated that the number of citizens ’licenses issued under the“ Abu Dhabi Merchant ”license amounted to 2883 licenses, pointing out that the license provides businessmen with an opportunity to add the practice of their economic activities via the website and social media channels, and also opens the way for obtaining a new license legally approved Commercial activities electronically, which includes the use of the electronic trading mark and the licensing serial number.


Meanwhile, the department revealed that the number of new licenses issued in the retail activity in the emirate in 2019 reached 9989 licenses, compared to 5403 licenses in 2018, with a growth rate of 84.8%.

She added that the number of licenses issued to Emiratis in the retail activity during the year 2019 exceeded 6689 licenses, representing 67% of the total licenses issued in 2019.

The «Abu Dhabi Economy» indicated that the retail activity, especially groceries, is one of the vital and important service commercial activities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which is witnessing a great demand from consumers to purchase, which necessitates not neglecting its role in the food market in the emirate.

She pointed out that the remarkable change in the retail system witnessed in Abu Dhabi city has contributed effectively to increasing the pace of profitable business, due to the demand of consumers in its new form, which matches the decent cultural appearance accompanied by an improvement in the level of services that enjoy advanced technologies and equipment.

Standards and requirements

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development emphasized that the new standards and requirements for groceries that were applied in Abu Dhabi city contributed to raising the level of competition in the market. It also enabled groceries to attract a number of customers who go to major malls, given the availability of comfortable spaces and increasing their operating capacity.

She pointed out that the new requirements and standards for groceries, which the department announced in coordination with the Abu Dhabi Authority for Agriculture in 2016 at the level of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra, are the result of joint efforts with a number of relevant government agencies, according to in-depth studies of the grocery sector.

She explained that these new standards include adding a consistent shape to these groceries that appeal to the consumer, in addition to the quality of sound and healthy food storage operations, avoiding the accumulation of goods on the shelves, standardizing the grocery workers' uniform, and establishing a unified brand for all groceries in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

She pointed out that a higher committee from a number of government agencies in Abu Dhabi supervised the implementation of the requirements of organizing "groceries" at the level of Abu Dhabi regions, in a way that contributes to highlighting the cultural aspect of the emirate and providing the best services to the public and consumers.

Variety of retail activities

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development emphasized that the licenses issued to Emirati citizens in the retail activity varied to include a wide number of activities up to 256 activities, in the forefront: grocery and supermarket licenses, selling men's and women's ready-made clothes and textiles, selling electronic and electrical devices and retail mobile phones, and selling sweets , Selling snacks and ice cream, spare parts, selling foodstuffs, especially vegetables and fresh fruits, fish, meat and poultry, selling precision electronic devices, selling electronic cards, money exchanges, packing and packing materials In, retail sale of unmanned aircraft, oil and natural gas well equipment and devices, sale of irrigation equipment and irrigation devices and accessories, artifacts, fertilizers and pesticides, watches, jewelry, perfumes, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, flowers and plants, child care supplies, medical and sun glasses, sale of operating devices Video games, marble, glass, tiles, tubes and pipes, sale of computers, household equipment, covers, ornamental birds, kitchen and catering equipment, and fodder.