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Abu Dhabi launches unified economic licences

The unified economic license is an initiative by Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and Abu Dhabi Free Zones Council Wam
The unified economic license is an initiative by Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and Abu Dhabi Free Zones Council

Abu Dhabi has unified procedures for registering economic licences across the emirate and its free zones, in a bid to make it simpler to set up a business and increase non-oil trade.

The unified economic license is an initiative by Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (Added) and Abu Dhabi Free Zones Council.

The new initiative unifies procedures by introducing a standardised reference number for all licences and ensuring company data remains current within a newly integrated Abu Dhabi registry.

The initiative includes free zones such as Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone, Masdar City Free Zone and Creative Media Authority.
“Free zones play a significant role in our economic diversification and attraction of foreign direct investment in key targeted sectors,” said Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, chairman of Added and Abu Dhabi Free Zones Council.

Unifying the licensing process is a pivotal step to empower investors, entrepreneurs, and exceptional talents to capitalise on the extensive and promising opportunities offered by the emirate’s thriving economy, he added.

The unified system will facilitate easier business establishment and significantly boost Abu Dhabi’s global competitiveness, said Juma Al Shamisi, managing director and group CEO of AD Ports Group.
In April, Abu Dhabi Customs data showed non-oil foreign trade through Abu Dhabi ports grew 8 percent to AED282 billion ($77 billion) in 2023 from AED260 billion in 2022.

The emirate’s GDP in 2023 achieved its best performance in terms of value in 10 years at just over AED1 trillion, the figures also showed, with the non-oil sector contributing 53 percent.

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