Empower your Business with Abu Dhabi DED

About the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED)

ADDED Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, abbreviated as ADDED and often referred to as Abu Dhabi DED is the government authority responsible for registering companies on the mainland in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi DED regulates all business activities carried out in Abu Dhabi and oversees the compliance of business sectors. Furthering Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030, Abu Dhabi DED implements initiatives to foster growth and diversification across many sectors. Both local and foreign investors can avail themselves of Abu Dhabi DED’s range of advanced services, streamlining their business processes and ensuring compliance. Abu Dhabi DED promotes Abu Dhabi’s economic aspirations by fostering collaborations with both regional and international counterparts, cultivating progressive alliances centered on transparency, innovation, and knowledge exchange. All this benefits the business ecosystem and makes Abu Dhabi’s investment globally attractive. The emirate’s business-friendly reputation enhances its competitive investment climate.

What is an Abu Dhabi DED License?

The Economic Development (ADDED) oversees the business sectors in Abu Dhabi, driving initiatives that aim for a diversified, knowledge-driven, and sustainable economy. The Abu Dhabi DED License ensures that businesses adhere to the emirate’s economic standards, regulations, and strategic goals. Obtaining the DED Abu Dhabi Trade License indicates that a company has met specific criteria, completed the requisite paperwork, and received the official nod to commence operations. The DED Abu Dhabi Trade License covers a broad spectrum of activities ranging from trading, manufacturing, and services, among others. For any entrepreneur or company looking to tap into Abu Dhabi’s economic landscape, securing an ADDED license is critical, as operating without it can result in significant legal risks.

Why the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED)?

Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) presents a favorable and lucrative environment for businesses and entrepreneurs. As one of the premier destinations for company registration, Abu Dhabi DED offers many benefits that underscore its appeal to the international business community. From its economic setup costs to its progressive approach towards foreign ownership, the advantages are numerous.

ADDED Services in Abu Dhabi

The services offered by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development (ADDED) for businesses can be categorized into four main groups.


DED Abu Dhabi issues a variety of commercial and economic permits that include, but aren’t limited to

  • Sales permit
  • Clearance permit
  • Seasonal permit
  • Withdrawal permit
  • Advertising permits
  • Café permits


DED Abu Dhabi issues a variety of commercial and economic permits that include, but aren’t limited to:
  • Dealer licence
  • Creative licence
  • Technology licence
  • Branch licence
  • Dual licence
  • Commercial licence
Sharjah Economic Development Department

Industrial Licences

DED Abu Dhabi issues a variety of commercial and economic permits that include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Individual licence
  • Company licence
  • Partnership licence
  • Site license
Sharjah Economic Development Department

Investment & Business Tools

DED Abu Dhabi issues a variety of commercial and economic permits that include, but aren’t limited to:
  • The ADBC Golden Service
  • Consumer/investor complaint forum
  • Commercial licensing procedures
  • Commercial registry certificate
  • Licence inquiry

Benefits of an ADDED company setup in Abu Dhabi

Trouble-Free Recruitment Process

Abu Dhabi allows job seekers to actively search while on a visit or tourist visa. Successful candidates must exit the UAE temporarily for employment visa processing.

100% Repatriation of Capital and Profits

Businesses on the Abu Dhabi mainland can repatriate 100% of profits and capital without restrictions.

Low Cost of Starting a Business

Abu Dhabi mainland businesses don't require a minimum share capital, and there's no mandate to deposit capital into a local bank.

No Annual Audits

Abu Dhabi mainland businesses are not required to undergo annual audits, providing flexibility in compliance requirements.

Low Import Duty

Goods entering Abu Dhabi from non-GCC countries are subject to a 5% duty, with additional charges for alcohol and cigarettes.

Investment Environment

Abu Dhabi offers a dual license, proximity to major markets, 94 foreign-country contracts to avoid double taxation, and competitive tax rates (zero income tax, 5% VAT).

Exclusive Access to Raw Material Processing Sites

Businesses benefit from exclusive access to critical raw material processing sites in Abu Dhabi.

Specialized Economic Zones

Attractive lease rates for workplace and warehouse spaces, appealing to industries like finance, media, logistics, and sustainable energy.

Capacity for Producing Electricity

Abu Dhabi provides the capacity for large-scale electricity production enabled by affordable energy sources.

Top Activities in Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED)

Branch Out with Confidence: Unified License for Multiple Sectors
The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) offers a comprehensive range of business activities that companies in the emirate can register under. These span across diverse sectors such as trading, encompassing both import/export and wholesale or retail; manufacturing, which includes sectors like food production and machinery; and various services ranging from IT consulting to real estate. Furthermore, businesses can register under the educational, healthcare, construction, transportation, hospitality, media, and financial services sectors.

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