Ghadan 21: What are the Dh50bn reforms happening in Abu Dhabi?

The plan features 50 initiatives focused on four areas — business and investment, society, knowledge and innovation, and lifestyle

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, April 10, 2017:     General view of the downtown skyline seen from the observation tower at Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi on April 10, 2017. Christopher Pike / The National

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Ghadan 21 — which translates to 'tomorrow' from Arabic - is the banner name for a series of sweeping reforms aimed at stimulating investment, creating jobs, encouraging innovation and improving the overall quality of life for Abu Dhabi’s citizens.

Worth Dh50 billion, the investment project was announced last summer by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

It features 50 initiatives focused on four areas — business and investment, society, knowledge and innovation, and lifestyle.

Business and investment

This area aims to stimulate business and investment, as well as promote economic development for the private sector and small businesses and support industry projects in the renewable energy sector. Reforms include the introduction of a new licence which will allow people to work from home without renting office space, and an expansion of the free zone network that means companies based there will now be able to bid for Government contracts.


This area features a series of projects to improve society, with plans to provide thousands of new jobs, homes and places in schools. Reforms include a social benefit scheme to support low income Emiratis, offering housing support, free health care at private and government hospitals, and subsidies for food and services to those who are eligible.

Knowledge and innovation

The knowledge sector will be supported by encouraging technology companies, supporting research and development centres, and training and developing talent and expertise. Cultural, sporting and transport initiatives will also be launched under this area.


These are the latest plans to be unveiled, with 300 initiatives to be rolled out across the Abu Dhabi emirate to improve residents’ quality of life. They include new parks for the city, the installation of exercise trails and cycle paths, as well as efforts to safeguard residents against the effects of the searing summer heat.