Business Environment

Strong Economy

Abu Dhabi’s real GDP per-capita exceeded $85,912 in the fourth quarter of 2011. This places Abu Dhabi among the world’s wealthiest countries such as Luxembourg and Switzerland.

Developed Infrastructure

The quality of Abu Dhabi’s communications infrastructure, combining fixed telephone, mobile and Internet access, compares favourably to the world’s most popular international business hubs.

The Emirate’s logistics infrastructure is undergoing a massive upgrade. This will create one of the world’s largest and most efficient cargo handling centres.

Political Stability

Long established ancestral rule in Abu Dhabi guarantees that its economic agenda is safeguarded from unstable political factors. The Emirate’s geographic location, away from Middle East hotspots and its progressive economic policies have won the confidence of its Middle Eastern neighbours, as well as those of numerous Western countries.

The crime rate in the Emirate is very low, as respect prevails among residents. It is controlled by a strict judicial system.

Proximity to Growth Regions

Abu Dhabi’s strategic advantage for investors is its proximity to the world’s fastest growing economies, namely Asia and Africa. These regions have a combined population of over 5 billion people. They have tremendous potential for economic and trading development as they include the world’s most populated emerging markets – China and India – as well as other oil-rich countries like Russia.

Tax Free Business Environment

Corporate taxes are only applicable to branches of foreign banks and oil-producing companies in Abu Dhabi. A negligible 5% tariff is imposed on goods imported from non-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, although tobacco and alcohol products are subject to 50% customs duties.

Special economic zones offer 100% tax exemptions.


100% Repatriation of Profit and Capital

The newly formed industrial clusters in Abu Dhabi’s special economic zones ensure zero-risk in the repatriation of capital and profits, besides 100% business ownership and tax holidays.

Low Cost of Doing Business

One of the most common types of business entities in Abu Dhabi is the limited liability company, with fixed initial capital.

Labour costs in the Emirate are also relatively inexpensive compared to Western countries.

Legal Framework

Abu Dhabi’s legal framework is geared towards business growth, with streamlined incorporation procedures and free zones offering multiple benefits to foreign companies.

Labour law changes are also being considered to make workers’ rights more robust and employers’ obligations more clear.

Multi-national Human Resources

Investors benefit immensely from an abundant supply of human resource skills, courtesy of professionals migrating to the Emirate from nearly every country in the world. There is also an increasing number of UAE nationals joining the private sector every year.

Government Services

The Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry provides new entrants with helpful information and guidance.