Abu Dhabi is considered the wealthiest emirate in the UAE. Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), is the world’s richest sovereign fund in terms of total asset value. The emirate owns most of the UAE’s hydrocarbon assets. It holds approximately 9 per cent of the world’s oil reserves and 5 per cent of the world’s natural gas.
Abu Dhabi per capita income is one of the highest globally, and Abu Dhabi’s citizens are wealthier and happier than ever before.
The emirate crafted a comprehensive plan called “Vision 2030” to create a solid economic future. The emirate’s strong favourability among expat workers and foreign investors can be attributed to its focus on inclusion, innovation, and diversity — with it being home to residents of over 200 nationalities and its burgeoning industries, growing start-up ecosystem and modern infrastructure.
The government plans to invest heavily in advanced technology, such as nuclear technology, space travel and artificial intelligence since Abu Dhabi is positioning itself as a top regional tech hub. In addition, it aspires to attract more companies in the finance, logistics, healthcare, agricultural technology, and renewable energy sectors.
The Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone (ADAFZ) is one of the premier destinations for new businesses in the aviation, logistics, transportation, and flight support services sector. It benefits from its location next to Abu Dhabi Airport, one of the busiest in the region.
Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) is an international financial centre and free zone located on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi. ADGM has become an attractive jurisdiction for crypto companies after it introduced digital asset regulations.
The Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) is one of the world’s largest industrial zones. This mega project span 417 square kilometres. Companies incorporated here have access to world-class transport infrastructure and an unmatched connectivity network via air, road, sea, and rail.
The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (AD DED) issues all local business licenses for areas that are not covered by free zones. Historically, local licenses required local citizens to be majority shareholders. However, the UAE has modernized its laws recently to grant expat owners full ownership of a business in most sectors.
Abu Dhabi’s commitment to innovation, collaboration, and wellbeing contributes to a world-class business environment. Here are some highlights and rankings: