Abu Dhabi reduces business set-up requirements by 71%

The move comes after the emirate slashed fees for the establishment of a new venture by 94% to Dh1,000 last week

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, April 9, 2013:    Skyline of Abu Dhabi seen from the break water in Abu Dhabi on April 9, 2013. Christopher Pike / The National
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Abu Dhabi has reduced the requirements to set up a business in the emirate by 71 per cent, a week after it cut business set-up fees by more than 90 per cent, making it significantly easier to start all types of commercial operations.

The move is part of the government's "Investor Journey Programme", the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development said on Monday. A special task force set up in April this year has co-ordinated with more than 20 government entities and the private sector to achieve this milestone.

By reducing the requirements, the government has reduced the time and cost needed to embark on a new venture, the economic department said. All changes have already been reflected in the respective systems and are effective from August 1.

The co-ordination between local and federal government entities has helped to achieve this “ambitious target in a short period of time”, said Mohammed Al Shorafa, chairman of the economic department.

Abu Dhabi has unveiled several initiatives to improve the ease of doing business and its global competitiveness as it prepares for its next 50 years of economic growth.

In July, the emirate cut business set-up fees by 94 per cent to Dh1,000 in a bid to attract more investors and boost foreign direct investment.

The new fee structure is applicable to six activities within business licences and will cover all fees from Abu Dhabi government entities.

Licence renewal fees have also been reduced to Dh1,000 but federal fees will continue to apply, the economic department said in a statement at the time.

With the latest step, the Abu Dhabi government has identified and removed duplicate processes and requirements across different government entities.

It has also modified some existing requirements to further simplify business set-up procedures in the emirate.

The considerable reduction in the prerequisites is only the beginning of Abu Dhabi's Investor Journey Programme, Rashed Al Blooshi, undersecretary of the department, said on Monday.

The programme is not a "close-ended initiative but rather an ongoing collaboration to leverage on and maintain the capital’s competitive advantage", he said.

Added said it is also working closely with the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority to improve commercial licensing services on Tamm, which will act as an integrated one-stop-shop for all essential services to open a new business.

All government initiatives will significantly improve the "ease of doing business in the Abu Dhabi’s burgeoning ecosystem" and boost the private sector, Sameh Al Qubaisi, executive director of executive affairs office at the economic department, said.

To boost its non-oil-economy and support businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, Abu Dhabi has unveiled the Dh50 billion Ghadan initiative and has introduced visa reforms to attract new investors.

Over the past year, the emirate has also introduced several stimulus packages to cut the cost of doing business during the Covid-19 pandemic. They include rent rebates, discounts on utility bills and loan guarantee packages.

Abu Dhabi's economy is expected to grow by 6 per cent to 8 per cent over the next two years, driven by government spending, financial services and foreign investment, Mr Al Shorafa said earlier this year.

Updated: August 02, 2021, 10:21 AM