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  • Writer's pictureJenny Hunt

How To Start A Recruitment Company In Abu Dhabi

20th July 2015. (Updated 24th August 2016)

Providing recruitment services in Abu Dhabi requires special consideration to the legal structure of the business and the specific services that you intend to offer. Choosing the correct activity for your Commercial License is key here. There are two main activities that can be considered: Human Resources Consultancy and On Demand Labor Supply (Temporary Employment).

Human Resources Consultancy

The description for this activity from Abu Dhabi's Department of Economic Development (ADDED), the license issuing authority, is: making studies and strategies to develop employees and increase their productivity. Consultancy services provided to companies for their employees.

This activity can be 100% foreign-owned if in a Foreign Branch structure; or, it can be 49% foreign-owned/51% Emirati-owned if in a Limited Liability Company (LLC) structure. According to the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, there are 185 such registered companies in Abu Dhabi (correct at 24/08/2016) up from 164 (as at 20/07/2015) when this article was first published.

On Demand Labor Supply (Temporary Employment)

The description for this activity is to provide on demand temporary labour, such as drivers, nannies etc... for a specific period of time on an urgent basis.

It should be noted that this activity is restricted to 100% Emirati ownership and requires a bond of AED1,000,000. Additionally, an approval certificate from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE) will be required costing AED100,000.

According to the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, there are 186 such registered companies in Abu Dhabi (correct at 24/08/2016) up from 167 (as at 20/07/2015) when this article was first published.

With this activity, the individuals would be sponsored by the company and agreements would be made with clients for a predetermined period of time and the individuals would work for the client under a temporary work permit. At the end of the contract, the individuals would then be assigned to a new client under a new temporary work permit.

Choosing the right activity for your Trade License

Given that one of the above activities requires 100% Emirati ownership, it is common for foreign companies entering the Abu Dhabi market to opt for the Human Resources Consultancy activity. However, it should be noted, that this activity is really focussed on employee development rather than the sourcing and placing of candidates.

How can Gateway Group help your company expand to the UAE?

Gateway provides concierge company formation and a unique selection of local sponsor packages to foreign companies expanding to the UAE. Gateway protects its clients’ businesses and their profits. It provides foreign companies with the peace of mind their business is secure, they have full operational control, their profits are protected and their local sponsor is responsive whenever they might need support doing business in a new market. We can also assist with ongoing compliance requirements, such as visas processing and trade license renewals. Furthermore, from a human capital perspective, we can help your organisation to ensure you have the right people in place, appropriately motivated and maximizing productivity - ideal for getting your multicultural teams to work. To get started with expanding your business into the UAE, email us:

Written by Jenny Hunt, Founding Partnre & CEO

Gateway Group Of Companies, Abu Dhabi & Dubai UAE


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