Doing Business In

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates.



It is the largest of the seven Emirates.



With 700km of coastline, 200 islands, desert and 365 days of sunshine if offers diverse opportunities for companies looking to expand and set up here. 

Key Advantages To Investing In Abu Dhabi

Strategic Location

  • Where East meets West

  • 100 capital cities in reach within six hours by air

  • Airport passenger traffic of 24.5 million in 2016 (ADAC)

  • 5 Airports in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi

  • Abu Dhabi International Airport currently has a new state of the art terminal building under construction. Once operational it will have the capacity of handling up to 30 million passengers per year.

Political, Social & Financial Stability

  • Sovereign state

  • Over 200 nationalities. Strong emphasis on tolerance and anti-discrimination

  • Safest city in the world (Numbeo Crime Index 2019)

  • Moody's short- and long-term issuer rating for Abu Dhabi is Aa2/P-1 (March 2019, Moody's)

  • S&P's sovereign credit rating on Abu Dhabi is AA/A-1+ underpinned by the Emirate's large fiscal buffers (June 2019, Bloomberg).

Diversified Economy

  • Structured strategic plans to create a sustainable, knowledge-based economy and diversification away from its dependence upon oil (Vision 2021 & Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030)​.

Ease Of Doing Business

  • The UAE is currently ranked 11th globally in the World Bank's annual Ease of Doing Business Report 2019. This is due to reforms which have boosted the country's competitiveness.


  • The UAE is the 5th most competitive country globally (2019 IMD World Global Competitiveness Ranking)

  • AED50 billion investment in the Ghadan 21 economic plan including 50 initiatives reflecting the priorities of citizens, residents and investors, enhancing the competitiveness of Abu Dhabi, based on business & investment, society, knowledge & innovation, and lifestyle.


  • Abu Dhabi is currently ranked 22nd globally​ in the Resilient Cities Index and has the highest ranking of all cities in the region. It is up three positions from a decade ago and will retain this position until 2028. The Index measures a city's ability to withstand and embrace the technological, demographic and leadership disruption facing real estate both now and in a decade (June 2019, Savills).


  • No corporation tax (except oil, foreign banks & insurance)

  • No personal income tax

  • VAT at 5% - one of the lowest rates globally

  • No restrictions on repatriation of money

Business Licenses

  • 131,564 business licenses issued in Abu Dhabi from the start of 2019 until the middle of May 2019, representing an increase of 4.3% compared to December 2018. Of these, 26,879 were Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), 17,706 were branches and the rest were others (WAM News Agency).

State Of The Art Infrastructure

  • Quality​ road network, new ports, expanding airports, rail network (Al Dhafra) and Hyperloop (planned to link Abu Dhabi to Dubai and Al Ain to Abu Dhabi).

Variety Of Business Premises

  • Modern business centres, world-renowned shopping malls, state of the art commercial buildings and fully connected industrial zones.

Favourable Legal Framework For Businesses

  • Commercial Companies Law

  • UAE Trademark Law

  • Bankruptcy Law

  • Foreign Investment Law

  • Import / Export Controls

  • Agreements in place with 94 nations to avoid double taxation on overseas investments.

Foreign Direct Investment

  • FDI inflow into the UAE in 2018 was AED10 billion targetting a range of sectors from oil and gas to digital technologies (UNCTAD)

  • The bulk of Abu Dhabi's FDI is in trade, real estate, finance and insurance, manufacturing and construction (Santander)

  • The UK, India and the US are the top three countries from which FDI flowed into the UAE in 2016 (Santander)

Information, Communications & Technology

  • The UAE ranks 1st globally in internet and telephony level of competition (2019 Knowledge Index Report)

  • The UAE ranks 5th globally for ICT price basket, internet and telephony level of competitiveness and laws relating to ICT (2019, Sector Competitive Index for Informations & Communications Technology Inputs).

Ports & Shipping

  • 9 ports in Abu Dhabi

  • Khalifa Port supports 25 shipping lines with direct links to over 70 destination ports globally (Abu Dhabi Ports)

  • Abu Dhabi Ports handles of 42,300 vessels, contributes AED19.6 billion non-oil GDP to Abu Dhabi and supports over 60,000 jobs (Abu Dhabi Ports)

  • Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal recorded over 329,000 passengers in 2017 (Abu Dhabi Ports).


  • Compulsory health insurance for everyone

  • More than 60 hospitals including Cleveland Clinic and Kings College Hospital London (2017 SCAD)


  • Literacy rate at 93.8% (2016 SCAD)

  • 452 schools (SCAD) comprising public schools, private schools and higher education facilities including Paris-Sorbonne University, INSEAD, Repton School and New York University

  • 25% of government expenditure is directed at education (ADIO).


  • A diverse array of leisure and entertainment attractions, inc. theme parks and sports facilities such as Ferarri World, Yas Marina Racing Circuit and Wadi Adventure

  • Cultural events, festivals and museums, inc. Abu Dhabi Art, The Louvre and Al Jahili Fort.

Key Sectors


Benefits Of Abu Dhabi As A Business Hub

Financially & politically stable.


AED50 billion investment in Tomorrow 2021 Economic Plan to include 50 initiatives reflecting the priorities of citizens, residents and investors.



Ghadan 21 plan to enhance the competitiveness of Abu Dhabi, based on business & investment, society, knowledge & innovation, and lifestyle.



ADNOC’s $45 billion expansion of the Al Ruwais petrochemical complex making it the world’s single largest integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex.

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Gateway's 2019 Awards

Best Company Formation Specialists 2019

Lawyer International


Best Onshore Company Formation Specialists – UAE

MEA Markets 2019 GCC Enterprise Awards


Best Company Formation Specialists 2019 – UAE

M&A Today


CEO Today Middle East Awards 2019 (Jenny Hunt)


Recognized Leaders in Offshore Company Formation 2019

MEA Markets


10 Most Promising Corporate Business Service Providers 2019

Silicon India

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  • Will Your Company Expand To The UAE With Increased Foreign Ownership Levels?

  • Introducing The New Instant License In Abu Dhabi

  • Abu Dhabi – Where is the market going?

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