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Make Wonder

Working in Abu Dhabi presents a unique opportunity: to be part of a place that is reaching for tomorrow

Whether you're looking to build a career, invest, or turn a great idea into a business, opportunities await in this future-focused city

Abu Dhabi's business environment is well-regulated and flexible, with a range of incentive packages to encourage investment – and to support promising startups

 

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Ready, steady, startup

Abu Dhabi’s transparent, business-friendly regulatory environment and easy access to venture capital makes it one of the best places in the world to set up a business. Find out how to get your startup from laptop to launch.

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Abu Dhabi Make Wonder Relocating To Abu Dhabi 03

Relocating to Abu Dhabi

With zero per cent income tax and a well-regulated business environment, Abu Dhabi offers rewarding, well-remunerated opportunities at every skill level, and in almost every sector, from agtech to advertising.

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Did you know?

The UAE was ranked 16th globally in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report 

Meet the entrepreneurs

The next generation of ideas is taking shape in Abu Dhabi. Find out why it is fertile ground for the thought leaders, innovators and pioneers of tomorrow

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Ready to take it further?

Relocating to a new country can be an exciting step. From finding a job, to setting up a business and arranging a licence, you’ll find everything you need to know about working in Abu Dhabi

Starting a business in Abu Dhabi

Setting Up A Business In Abu Dhabi

With a stable and fast-growing economy, Abu Dhabi is the perfect launch pad for your business.

There are five business free zones in Abu Dhabi, which allow 100 per cent foreign ownership, including Abu Dhabi Global Market, Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, Masdar City Free Zone, Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone and twofour54.

Applying for a trade licence

Businesses setting up in one of Abu Dhabi’s five free zones can take advantage of their hassle-free setup process. Businesses outside of these can apply online for an Instant Licence, which will have your business ready to launch in just a few clicks.

Finding a job

How Do I Find A Job In Abu Dhabi

As a growing city with a rapidly diversifying economy, Abu Dhabi offers a wide range of progressive roles in almost every sector, and at every skill level.

Local and international recruitment agencies, as well as LinkedIn, are good places to start to compare the types of roles available, and understand the remuneration packages on offer.

Equally, the TAMM portal - which centralises several government processes in one platform - guides both potential employees and employers through the recruitment process, and provides links to available jobs.

Typically, employment is arranged before arriving in Abu Dhabi. However, it is possible to enter on a visit visa and look for work during that period.

Once a contract is signed, an employer will start the process of obtaining a residence visa.

Getting a visa

Abu Dhabi welcomes talent from all over the world, and offers residence visas to almost every nationality.

Except for GCC nationals, a residence visa is required for everyone wishing to work, invest or live in the UAE.

Among the visas available are student visas, temporary work permits, medical treatment permits, entry permits for exhibitions, and employment residency visas.

Most employment visas last for one to three years, but longer-term (five and ten-year) visas are available to high-net-worth investors and people working in in-demand specialist fields.

 

Employment benefits

For expatriates working in Abu Dhabi, an employment contract typically comes with standard benefits such as annual leave.

However, the amount depends on the employer. Some companies also offer assistance with housing, education and flights.

Investing in Abu Dhabi

Whether it's setting up a business or supporting an ecotourism venture, Abu Dhabi welcomes foreign investment, and offers exciting opportunities in a range of sectors.

ADIO 'Concierge Service'

As well as funding, Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) offers a ‘concierge’ service, which provides investors with support and advice.

Startup Incentives

Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) helps domestic and international investors and businesses of all sizes, across all sectors, to establish and grow in Abu Dhabi. Through its Ventures Fund, it supports the growth of startups in Abu Dhabi by increasing access to capital.

Hub71 is a global tech ecosystem that brings together key enablers for startups to succeed.

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) is Abu Dhabi's award-winning financial centre, which offers a Tech Licence to tech entrepreneurs working in any field in a supportive regulatory environment with access to venture capital.

The Catalyst is the region’s first sustainability-focused accelerator. Supported by Masdar and BP (British Petroleum), it supports early-stage startups working in clean technology through the funding, training and mentorship phases.

Business events in Abu Dhabi

From fintech and sustainable energy, to hospitality industry and aviation conferences, Abu Dhabi's Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) calendar is packed with inspiring events to help you network and grow your business.

Freelancing in Abu Dhabi

twofour54 is Abu Dhabi’s thriving media free zone, which offers licences to freelancers through the Media Zone Authority with waived license and registration fees for their first two years. Whether you’re a marketing strategist, graphic designer, or photographer, freelancing at twofour54 will give you access to a community of 500+ regional and international media partners, as well as government entities and private companies.

There is also a dedicated freelance relations team to help source the briefs to suit your talent, secure your next job and promote your work throughout our community.

Setting up a media business

twofour54 is home to Abu Dhabi’s media and entertainment industries. It houses some of the biggest names in the sector, including CNN, Vice Arabia, Red Bee Media, Ubisoft and Sky News Arabia.

Business set-up

twofour54 offers easy licensing and business set-up services and 100% company ownership to businesses of any size. It is also offering fully-waived licence fees for the first two years, as well as 0% corporate and income tax.

Production services

As well as offering a 30% cashback rebate through the Abu Dhabi Film Commission, twofour54’s in-house production facilities include studios and a 300,000 sqm backlot with standing sets, vast available land for set construction, and open desert landscape. Its international production services team offers end-to-end support from pre-production to the final edit, and Dolby Vision certified post-production facilities.

Freelance licences and support

twofour54 currently offers licences to freelancers through the Media Zone Authority with waived license and registration fees for their first two years. Whether you’re a marketing strategist, graphic designer, or photographer, freelancing at twofour54 will give you access to a community of 500+ regional and international media partners, as well as government entities and private companies.

There is also a dedicated freelance relations team to help source the briefs to suit your talent, secure your next job and promote your work throughout our community.