Abu Dhabi is the most populous city of the United Arab Emirates after Dubai and also it’s federal capital, It lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Arabian Gulf from the central western coast making it even more famous. Since Abu Dhabi is the largest among the 7 emirates of UAE,

Free zones have been established with a thought to boost its economy and promote foreign investment which is ideal for setting up in the sectors like manufacturing, media, and logistics. Free zones are basically the areas that have a special tax and customs regimes with great beneficiaries, among which a great benefit is that only 1 director is required to register a company and the recruitment procedure is very easy with inexpensive workforce making it a business hub.

There are more than 37 free zones in UAE amongst which Abu Dhabi has

Abu Dhabi Airport free zone (AFZA)

AFZA is set up by Skycity, A subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC). It extends over 12 sq. km near Abu Dhabi International Airport, AFZA is mainly the business destination for the fields like aviation, engineering, pharmaceutical firms, electronics, logistics, and cargo firms because it’s near to FLC Cargo terminal.

Masdar City

Credit : VisitAbuDhabi.ae

Masdar City is a planned city project in Abu Dhabi. Its core is being built by Masdar, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, with the majority of seed capital provided by the Government of Abu Dhabi. It’s a global hub for clean technologies and renewable energy. It was established in 2006 to foster sustainable economic development, Masdar city is for companies looking to venture into the field of clean technology, providing them the beneficiaries.


TwoFour54 is a free economic zone for the industry of television radio, film, publishing, mobile, etc. It was founded in 2008 holding Noura Al Kaabi as its chairwoman and Maryam Al Mheiri as its CEO. Its offices and facilities are located at Khalifa Park and Musaffah in Abu Dhabi.

Khalifa Industrial Zone

Popularly known as Kizad is located midway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, It is an industrial zone specializing in the licensing of industrial projects and promotion of industrial exports.

Abu Dhabi Global market (ADGM)

ADGM is an international financial center located on Al Maryah Island in the heart of UAE’s Capital city, Abu Dhabi, This 114-hectare island is a financial free zone, designated by the jurisdiction of Abu Dhabi Global Market and a financial free zone by Cabinet Resolution Number 15 of 2013. This island includes financial, commercial, leisure, entertainment and residential developments and facilities designed to meet Abu Dhabi’s long-term development and economic ambitions.


ZonesCorp is an industrial organization operating in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It is the        largest operator of purpose-built industrial zones in the UAE, providing investors with a world-class, tax-free platform that encourages growth. It’s the prime destination for businesses looking to establish a strong presence in the MENA region and services markets in both eastern and western Hemisphere.

Business setup process in Abu Dhabi’s Free Zone

Abu Dhabi Free Zone

The following steps are to be taken to setup business in Abu Dhabi’s Free Zone

  1. Firstly, if you are the business owner, then you will be required to determine the legal business structure based on the type of activity to be performed.
  2. Consult a local attorney to know about the rights and duties of registering in Abu Dhabi.The business entity is required to send the registration request to Abu Dhabi Free Zone administration.
  3. You will be required to open a bank account for the company in a local bank. All the business transaction are observable in that bank account.
  4. Once you are done with above three rounds, you will be required to round up the legal documentation and company registration in the awareness of Free Zone Authority of Abu Dhabi.
  5. Once the approval from the responsible authority is obtained, you can proceed to the phase of fulfilling the legislative requirements in order to get a business license. At the end of the process, you are ready to establish your firm in one of the most popular and widely known tourist destinations in UAE. You will get the trade license and will be able to explore the high business opportunities available in the market.

A similar process is used in Dubai. To know more steps about how to get yourself registered and getting trade licenses to visit https://www.government.ae/en

Visa Licensing in Abu Dhabi

It is mandatory that you’re the passport (not a travel document), should not get expired within 6 months from the expected date of arrival in the UAE, and a visit Visa must be applied before entering the country.

For business purposes, a Multiple Entry Visa must be applied for. Such Visas are provided to business visitors who are frequent visitors to the UAE due to their ties with a multinational company or a reputable local company. Multiple-entry Visas are valid for six months from the date of issue, and the duration of each stay is 30 days. The visa is non-renewable. The individual must enter the UAE on a Visit Visa and then obtain a Multiple-entry Visa.

Documents required (individuals)

  • A copy of the salary certificate or employment contract of the sponsor (resident) must be attached
  • Proof of family relationship (kinship)
  • Travel insurance
  • Copy of confirmed flight booking
  • Bank approval letter
  • Passport-sized colour photographs
  • Visa fee
  • Visa application form, duly filled

Visa approval takes approximately 3 to 4 days so make sure to apply at the earliest,  Once the amount is paid it is non refundable even if the visa remains unutilized.

To apply for the visa you can simply fill an online form  on www.abudhabi.com or www.emirates.com for information about visa and it’s application.

Final Words

Free zones in Abu Dhabi provide 100% foreign ownership, refurbishment of capital and profits, free transfer of funds, 100% exemptions from taxes and import export duties, It’s even quicker than incorporation outside the city, Well what else would a businessman need.

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