Abu Dhabi offers one-year lease exemption for 1,200 economic activities

Move is intended to simplify procedures and improve the ease of doing business in the emirate

Abu Dhabi continues to support entrepreneurs in setting up their businesses, which will positively contribute to the emirate's commercial activity. Photo: Added
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The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (Added) will exempt investors in 1,200 economic segments from having a work premise lease for a year as part of efforts to further promote the ease of doing business in the emirate.

The segments included in the decision represent about a third of all economic activities licensed and regulated by the department, which had 4,062 activities at the end of 2021, Added said on Tuesday.

Sectors on the list include wholesale and retail trade, cafeterias, rental and installation activities, contracting and maintenance, consulting and services, sewing, transport, salons and beauty centres, management offices and investment.

“This new initiative is a testament to Added’s commitment to enhancing the ecosystem and its proactive approach will enable businesses to benefit from growth opportunities in Abu Dhabi,” said Mohammed Al Mansouri, executive director of the Abu Dhabi Business Centre, a part of Added.

“We have selected the activities included in this move based on a study of its nature and requirement and will continue our efforts to ensure [the] ease of setting up and doing business, as well as supporting entrepreneurs to launch their businesses, which will contribute positively to the commercial activity in Abu Dhabi.”

Abu Dhabi's economy has made a strong recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, with its non-oil economy rising an annual 4.1 per cent in 2021, driven by robust government policies.

The growth was led by the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, which surged by more than 23 per cent on a yearly basis, data from Statistics Centre — Abu Dhabi showed.

In April, Added said 80 economic activities across the commercial, professional, industrial, agricultural, crafts and tourism segments were added in 2021.

The number of economic licences issued in the emirate also rose 22 per cent last year to 25,427, owing to government initiatives that strengthened investor confidence, it said.

In January, Abu Dhabi removed more than 20,000 requirements to set up businesses in the emirate as part of an overhaul led by Added as it aims to attract more investment.

Under Added's latest decision, some investors have been exempted from providing a lease agreement as a prerequisite to receive an economic licence.

However, a lease agreement would need to be submitted upon or before the renewal of the licence after a year, once the exemption expires.

Aside from simplifying procedures and reducing fees, the move is intended to promote entrepreneurship in the emirate by giving investors more time to select the best location to set up their businesses, Added said.

“We constantly connect with entrepreneurs and business owners to best understand their respective sectors and, consequently, are able to meet their demands and requirements,” Mr Al Mansouri said.

“Giving investors the option to obtain economic licences without lease agreement reflects our positive, pre-emptive response to the market’s current needs."

The complete list of activities exempted from a one-year lease is available on the Abu Dhabi Business Centre's website.

Updated: July 05, 2022, 10:40 AM