Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone

Keeping Customers at the Heart of Everything

In conversation with Francois Bourienne, Chief Commercial Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports

By Muhammad Ali Bandial

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Published: Mon 13 Dec 2021, 3:00 PM

What are the benefits of establishing a company in the free zone area?

Our aim with Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone is to provide quick, simple registration and licensing services for businesses within our ‘one-stop-shop’ offering, which includes independent regulations, and easy access to regional and global markets. But most importantly, we are the only free zone in Abu Dhabi to provide airside and landside access to businesses. This is particularly convenient for logistics, aviation FBO and MRO, catering, and ground handling companies, enabling them to seamlessly transport product from aircraft hold to the cargo truck.

There are many business incentives and benefits to establishing in our free zone area. Chief amongst these are full corporate and income tax exemption for companies, full foreign ownership rights, and a 100 per cent repatriation of all capital and profits to the head office, wherever it is in the world.

In addition, Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone companies pay no customs duties, and benefits from all the facilities of a modern, international airport environment to facilitate imports and exports, 24/7 security and access to in-house IT and telecommunications services.

What is the time frame for company formation at the free zone?

We aim to make the process as swift and efficient as possible for potential clients. The registration and licensing process for a branch or LLC is approximately two to three weeks, and a licence renewal takes 24 to 48 hours. The process is, of course, subject to the successful completion of all legal documentation and fulfilment of the correct regulations.

Once prospective clients have spoken with our sales and customer service team to discuss the type of business they wish to establish, as well as the location and size of premises to be leased, they will be asked to complete some application forms, and provide us with their proposed business plan.

Which sector is most prevailing in Abu Dhabi Airports free zone?

We welcome approaches from a range of sectors, with the main businesses areas being drawn from aviation, logistics mainly, and e-commerce, trading, ICT, management consultancy, light industries, cold storage and retail sectors. The businesses range from start-ups to SME’s, all the way up to multinationals.

What is the difference between registering a company in a free zone vs in mainland economic zones?

The main advantages to registering with ADAFZ are that businesses will benefit from access to three international airports (Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Bateen Executive Airport, and Al Ain International Airport) in a strategic location and close proximity to landmark destinations.

Besides the benefits of tax exemptions and a waiver on foreign ownership regulations, we offer hangers, landside and airside facilities, large plots of land, a business centre, a dual licensing facility and companies will be operating in a VAT-designated zone.

What differentiates ADAFZ from other free zones in the region?

Our intention is to keep our customers at the heart of everything we do, and we seek to offer a premium service to them, that goes beyond the standard free zone operating model. We are the only free zone in Abu Dhabi to offer airside and landside access to our customers, and we operate different districts in three main airports. For instance, Abu Dhabi International Airport has five distinct districts for customers: Airport City, Business Park, Destination Village, Al Falah District and Logistics Park.

We offer bespoke registration and licensing, visa processing, and other related services to ease the process of setting up a business in Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone. Through our specialised staff, we provide for all of our customer’s business needs at the One Stop Shop (OSS), all aimed to help their businesses grow.

The One Stop Shop (OSS) online portal provides a convenient, secure and easy-to-use channel to conduct their business transactions with ADAFZ. Through this interactive portal, free zone companies can view their company information including the company license, lease, employee and financial details.

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