UAE: Authority exempts 1,200 economic activities from lease contract for one year

This new initiative is part of the emirate's efforts to incentivise entrepreneurship


A Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 5 Jul 2022, 1:14 PM

Last updated: Tue 5 Jul 2022, 5:05 PM

The Abu Dhabi Business Centre (ADBC), part of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has announced that it will grant a total of 1,200 economic activities a one-year exemption from having a lease contract for work premises.

The move is part of ADDED’s commitment to enhancing business environments and ensuring ease of setting up and doing business.

This new initiative is part of Abu Dhabi’s efforts to incentivize entrepreneurship and businesses in the Emirate by, not only, simplifying procedures and reducing fees, but by also giving investors more time to focus on the business and eventually select the best location to support their success.

The economic activities included in this initiative represent 29.5 per cent of total economic activities licensed and regulated by ADDED, which reached 4,062 activities by end of last year (2021).

This decision is in line with the Chairman of ADDED’s vision concerning the regulation of economic activities practicing in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This allows exemption of some facilities from lease agreement as a prerequisite to issue economic license based on its activities. This exception is valid for a period of one year from the date of license issuance, and a lease agreement should be submitted upon the renewal of the license, or before that.

ADDED has recently launched many initiatives to ensure ease of doing business, including slashing business setup and renewal fees by over 94 per cent and reducing over 71 per cent in business set-up requirements, in coordination with 26 local and federal government entities. The move was welcomed by the business sector; reflected by an increase of new economic licenses of 21.5 per cent and renewals of 15.8 per cent in 202 which confirms the attractiveness of the business sector in Abu Dhabi.


The strategic initiatives launched by Abu Dhabi facilitated a faster recovery rate of its economy after the Covid-19 economic impacts. This is reflected through the Emirate’s performance reported in 2021. The GDP grew by 1.9 per cent, and non-oil GDP growth rate was 4.1 per cent while sectors affected by Covid-19 showed strong recovery with a growth rate of over 15 per cent.

Mohammed Munif Al Mansouri, Executive Director of ADBC said: “This new initiative is a testament to ADDED’s commitment to enhancing the ecosystem and its proactive approach will enable businesses to benefit from growth opportunities in Abu Dhabi”.

“We constantly connect with entrepreneurs and business owners to best understand their respective sectors and consequently are able to meet their demands and requirements. Giving investors the option to obtain economic licenses without lease agreement reflects our positive, pre-emptive response to the market’s current needs. We have selected the activities included in this move based on a study of its nature and requirement and will continue our efforts to ensure ease of setting up and doing business as well as supporting entrepreneurs to launch their businesses which will contribute positively to the commercial activity in Abu Dhabi,” added Al Mansouri.

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