Abu Dhabi allows 100% FDI in key areas of the economy

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Abu Dhabi
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Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development (ADDED) is preparing to introduce a new “Foreign Direct Investment License” for investors in the emirate which will allow them to fully (100 percent) own their businesses. 

The new license will be available for projects which have a capital requirement between 544k to 27.23 million or higher. The investors can utilize the new license to set up ventures providing 122 different economic activities related to the agricultural, industrial and services sectors.

ADDED’s Chairman Mr. Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa remarked that the issue of new ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ is in accordance with provisions of the Federal Law No. (19) of 2018 address Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and is expected to further promote a positive investment climate and subsequent sustainable economic development in Abu Dhabi.

Mr. Al Shorafa emphasized that the new license will encourage investors, spur business development for foreign companies as well as attract businesses in technology and advanced industries, which all contribute to the emirate’s economic diversification policy.

Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Image
Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa
Chairman – ADDED

“The implementation of the FDI law in Abu Dhabi through the ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ license contributes to achieving various objectives such as expanding the base of foreign investments; increasing the size of capital flows; enhancing and diversifying local production, and increasing the emirate’s exports of goods and services.

Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, said: “The beneficiaries of the ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ license are foreign investors and residents in the UAE, including individuals, legal persons, and foreign companies that are engaged in FDI projects.”

He pointed out that the current foreign investors in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi can benefit from this law by owning their projects by 100 percent, with the aim of strengthening the efforts of the Abu Dhabi government in stimulating the private sector.

Mr. Al Balooshi highlighted that investors can easily acquire the new ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ license through ADDED’s Abu Dhabi Business Center (ADBC) by 3 simple steps namely;

  1. Submitting the license application
  2. Obtaining the approval after completing all formalities and
  3. Making the necessary payment.

Businesses supporting ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ in Agriculture Sector 

  • Cultivation of grains, leguminous crops, vegetables, fruits, citrus fruits, among others.
  • Activities that support crop and livestock production, seed processing for reproduction and
  • Many more activities within this vital sector are also covered by the license.

Businesses supporting ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ in the Industrial Sector 

  • Manufacturing of food and beverages, F&B, products, clothing and leather production.
  • Manufacturing of wood and cork products.
  • Production of plastics and synthetic rubber in its primary forms, fertilizers, pesticides, and other agricultural chemical products.

Businesses supporting ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ in the Service Sector 

  • Legal consulting.
  • Accounting, auditing and tax advisory services.
  • Architectural and engineering activities.
  • Medical and dental clinics.
  • Veterinary activities.
  • Computer programming services.
  • Consultancy, research and development activities in science and technology and
  • More activities within the sector.

Businesses not supported ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ license 

  • Postal and telecommunications services
  • Audio and video media related services
  • Petroleum exploration and production
  • Ground and air transportation services
  • Activities related to investigations, security and military sectors
  • Manufacturing of weapons, explosives as well as military equipment, devices and clothing
  • Printing and publishing services
  • Banking and finance activities
  • Payment and cash handling systems
  • Commercial agents services
  • Insurance activities, medical retailing such as private pharmacies
  • Hajj and Umrah services
  • Employment of labour, servants and recruitment of employees
  • Activities related to poison control centers, blood banks and health quarantines and
  • Water, electricity and fisheries services.