Abu Dhabi’s ADDED unveils “Virtual License” to lure more FDIs

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has launched the “Virtual License” for non-resident foreign investors as part of its efforts to attract new investments to the emirate.

The new “Virtual License” system will enable non-resident foreign investors to secure an economic license for doing business in Abu Dhabi without any prior residence procedures and from any location outside the UAE.

ADDED made this announcement on the sidelines of its participation in the Abu Dhabi government pavilion in the 41st session of the GITEX Global (Dubai 2021), held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Virtual license is an unprecedented proactive initiative, which focuses on attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) through facilitating the licensing procedures and requirements, regardless of the location of the investor, the Chairman of ADDED, Mr. Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa stated.

The virtual license covers 13 economic sectors on top of the strategic sectors targeted by the Abu Dhabi government to attract FDI. The foreign investor can apply for a license in any of these economic sectors and completely own it, choosing any of the two approved legal forms: Limited Liability Company and Sole Proprietorship L.L.C.

The license is subject to local fees of a maximum of $272, provided all additional federal fees have been paid upon the completion of the remaining requirements, as per the activity selected and the legal form preferred.

Mr. Al Shorafa stressed the keenness of the Abu Dhabi government to increase the attractiveness of business in the emirate and boost its competitiveness in the commercial and service sectors. Further, this initiative goes in line with the directions of the UAE government to enable cross-border digital trade, he added.

Mr. Rabee Al Hajeri, Acting Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Business Centre, stated, “the virtual license does not require prior approvals from the concerned entities; rather, this initiative focuses on granting an economic license to natural or legal persons residing outside the UAE to encourage them to do business in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.”

ADDED has identified the steps to be taken for issuing a virtual license. The investor shall log into the Abu Dhabi Business Centre’s website, select Virtual License, then, enter through UAE Pass Sop1. 

After that, the investor shall choose an economic name (in English only), enter the contact details, identify the economic activity to be practiced, attach a copy of the passport and pay the due fees by credit card. The virtual license will be then issued.

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