25th November 2017, updated 7th April 2019
Abu Dhabi businesses with commercial premises are required to have signage. During the business setup, for most companies, it will be necessary to lease a commercial premise and obtain a Tawtheeq contract (lease attested by the Municipality). The type of premises will be dictated by the activities on your trade license. For example, a consultancy will require an office whilst a trading company will need a store or warehouse. Once the lease has been signed it will be necessary to arrange the appropriate signage.
In Abu Dhabi, there are signage guidelines which must be adhered to. These set the standards for typologies, dimensions, and positioning.
The location of the business within the building will determine the location of the signage.
The location of the signage on the ground floor will be dependent upon the type of building.
Only 3D signs without background are allowed in the parapet zone of the building.
An additional external sign is allowed, for commercial stores and restaurants, but it must be square and only contain the logo.
The following business types are allowed signage on the mezzanine floor: medical clinics, salons, health clubs and other businesses determined by the licensing authority. These signs must be either a projecting sign or an internal sign.
Anchor tenants can display their name and logo in the building's top zone.
Offices on higher floors are required to display signage showing their name in English and Arabic, as per their trade license. The corporate logo can't be used unless it has been trademarked by the Ministry of Economy in the UAE.
Offices should display their signage either or their door or immediately outside their office, as well as in the lobby.
Signage should be created by an Abu Dhabi registered signage company as it will be necessary for the artwork to be submitted with their stamp to the authorities for approval. They should be familiar with the guidelines and able to advise what is permitted.
The license issuing authority will inspect the premises to check the signage which must match the artwork submitted.
Written by Jenny Hunt, Founding Partner & CEO
Gateway Group of Companies, Abu Dhabi and Dubai UAE
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