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Unified Economic Licence Launched in Abu Dhabi to Enhance Business Competitiveness

The aim is to boost the emirate's attractiveness as a business-friendly destination for investors and entrepreneurs

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on June 8, 2024, 12:06:12

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unified economic license, abu dhabi freezone council

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Free Zones Council, has launched the Unified Economic Licence in Abu Dhabi. This initiative is led by Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (KEZAD Group), Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone (ADAFZ), Masdar City Free Zone and the Creative Media Authority (CMA).

The aim is to boost the emirate's attractiveness as a business-friendly destination for investors and entrepreneurs. The new initiative standardises the procedures for registering economic licences across the Emirate and its free zones, streamlining the business setup process and improving governance and transparency.

It will introduce a standardised reference number for all licences and ensure company data remains current within a newly integrated Abu Dhabi registry. This will simplify data management and foster collaboration between free zones and mainland authorities.

Investors will benefit from a seamless and faster digital setup process, reflecting Abu Dhabi's commitment to continuously improving the business ecosystem and solidifying its position as a global business hub. To ensure a smooth transition, representatives from entities responsible for economic licence registration have formed a task force.

Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of ADDED and the Abu Dhabi Free Zones Council, stated: "Free zones play a significant role in our economic diversification and attraction of foreign direct investments (FDIs) in key targeted sectors.

Unifying the licensing process of economic establishments in the emirate is a pivotal step, underscoring Abu Dhabi's commitment to enhancing a business ecosystem that aligns with global standards, empowers investors, entrepreneurs and exceptional talents to capitalise on the extensive and promising opportunities offered by the Emirate's dynamic and thriving economy. This is achieved through the revision and enhancement of legislative and regulatory frameworks and accelerated efforts in digital transformation."

Capt Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO of AD Ports Group, said: "AD Ports Group and its subsidiary KEZAD Group welcome the Abu Dhabi Free Zones Council’s initiative to unify the licensing process of economic establishments in Abu Dhabi.

This collaboration exemplifies our commitment to creating a streamlined and efficient business environment that aligns with global standards. By enhancing our legislative and regulatory frameworks and accelerating our digital transformation efforts, we are empowering investors, entrepreneurs, and exceptional talents to fully leverage the extensive opportunities within our thriving economy.

"This unified system will facilitate easier business establishment and significantly boost Abu Dhabi's global competitiveness. We look forward to continuing our partnership with ADDED, ADAFZ, Masdar City Free Zone and the Creative Media Authority to achieve our shared strategic goals and ensure Abu Dhabi remains a premier destination for business and investment," he added.

Elena Sorlini, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports, said: "At Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone, our strategic vision is to establish Abu Dhabi as a premier global business hub catering to a diverse investor base. Central to our mission is facilitating seamless business operations, and we wholeheartedly support initiatives that aim to create a conducive business environment that attracts investors across target sectors.

Our collaborative efforts to unify licensing for economic establishments will significantly streamline and enhance Abu Dhabi’s business landscape. This alignment with the emirate’s ambition fosters sustainable economic growth through increased diversification, ultimately advancing Abu Dhabi’s economic development aspirations."

Ahmed Baghoum, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar City, praised the initiative to consolidate the registration and licensing of economic establishments in Abu Dhabi. He remarked: "This pivotal measure fortifies the business ecosystem within the Emirate and elevates its standing on the global competitiveness stage. It is in perfect alignment with Masdar City's strategic objective to bolster and advance Abu Dhabi’s sustainable economic framework."

Mohamed Dobay, Acting Director General of the Creative Media Authority, said: "We are proud of the strategic partnership with the Department of Economic Development and all economic sectors in Abu Dhabi, as the MoU and the initiative to unify and facilitate the registration procedures is a remarkable step that aligns with our goal of maintaining Abu Dhabi's position as a leading global destination for creative and media companies."

The mandate of the Abu Dhabi Free Zones Council, established in 2021, is to raise the standards for collaboration between free zones and other entities in the emirate, develop policies and legislation and establish key performance indicators to ensure alignment with socio-economic strategies.

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