The number of UAE business licences linked to creative activities registered in the country reached 932,000 by the end of the first half of 2023, amid the government’s efforts to attract more businesses and boost the economy.

The latest data was revealed following the fifth meeting of the economic integration committee chaired by Abdulla bin Touq, the Minister of Economy, according to a statement from the Ministry of Economy on Sunday.

The ministry did not provide the comparative figure for the total business registrations for the first half of last year.

“The UAE has established itself as a leading global financial hub that offers all enablers for success for the business sector, investors, and start-ups from around the world,” Mr bin Touq said.

“This was made possible by a resilient economic legislative ecosystem, a competitive, attractive, and stable business environment and the further development of infrastructure to be among the best globally.”

The incentives and benefits offered by the UAE market, and the unique location of the country at the heart of global trade are also contributing factors, the minister added.

In recent years, the UAE has put in place various measures to boost foreign direct investment.

This includes allowing 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies, reducing visa restrictions, providing various incentives for small and medium enterprises and introducing laws to improve transparency for investors.

The country aims to attract Dh550 billion ($150 billion) in foreign direct investment by 2030, and eventually reach Dh1 trillion by 2051.

The economic integration committee also discussed developments in the country’s intellectual property ecosystem and the promotion of innovation, according to the statement.

The meeting also discussed the operational action plan to prepare for the Financial Action Task Force’s field visit to the Joint Group of Africa and the Middle East in January, which could “enhance the UAE’s global position in implementing global AML (anti-money laundering) standards”, the statement said.

The UAE has been approved for inspection after it had “substantially” introduced compliance measures to combat money laundering, FATF said last month.

The measures are needed to remove the UAE from the FAFT list of countries under enhanced monitoring.

The watchdog said the UAE had made progress in areas such as assisting money-laundering investigations, imposing sanctions for non-compliance at financial institutions and increasing prosecutions.