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Abu Dhabi’s FDI license to start your business with 100% foreign ownership on mainland!

Abu Dhabi is a global hub for investment and foreign investors find it easy to operate their business in Abu Dhabi! Abu Dhabi has rolled out a game-changing initiative that allows 100% foreign ownership on the mainland. The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development has launched a new foreign direct investment or FDI license that inspires investors to take up complete ownership of their firm.

The FDI license or foreign direct investment license cover over 122 different economic activities related to industrial and service sectors, agricultural, and other target businesses. The 122 main activities include around 1586 sub-activities. This Abu Dhabi FDI license is available for businesses with a capital range worth Dh 2 million or above. The license will obviously attract foreign investors and ensure sustainable economic development.

The chairman of ADDED is committed to enhance the environment local investment and strengthen the business in UAE providing a competitive workspace through policies that provide more investment opportunities for investors.


Abu Dhabis FDI license

UAE foreign ownership license is issued in line with the federal law no (19) of 2018, regarding the foreign direct investment and involve in further efforts to promote a positive investment environment.

The FDI UAE law was passed in the year 2018, but it came into effect in April 2020, upon the approval by the Federal cabinet. It’s a significant law for foreign investors who are ready to invest or already invested in UAE companies. It’s an ideal way to protect the rights of foreign investors according to the Abu Dhabi government rules and regulations.

The investment opportunities in various economic sectors deliver a positive impact on the business in UAE along with a positive impact on the emirate’s investment environment.

Objectives of FDI UAE license issuance,


  • Improve confidence in the investment climate
  • Expand the base of logistical investments
  • Making Abu Dhabi a global investment destination
  • Attract more investment and supporting the environment
  • Achieve development of Emirate of Abu Dhabi
  • Develop a legislative environment for investors and to protect their duties.

Benefits of implementing foreign direct investment law,


  • Expand the base of foreign investments
  • Increase the size of capital flows
  • Increasing Emirate’s export of goods and services
  • Enhancing and diversifying local productions

Steps to issue foreign direct investment license,

The process is divided into three basic stages that include,


  • Submit an application for a ‘foreign direct investment project’ license
  • Pursue approval after submitting required documents and procedures
  • Finally, issuance of the license is marked with the sign “foreign direct investment”

FDI UAE covers the following business activities,

In the agricultural sector,


  • Cultivation of leguminous crops, vegetables, grains, fruits, etc
  • support crop and livestock production
  • seed processing for reproduction

In the industrial sector,


  • manufacturing of food and beverages products
  • clothing and leather production
  • wood and cork products,
  • plastics and synthetic rubber

Activities practiced with license,


  • architectural and engineering activities
  • accounting, auditing, legal consultancy
  • medical and dental clinics
  • computer programming services
  • veterinary activities
  • consultancy, research and development
  • science and technology,

Activities that are not covered in the FDI license,


  • postal and telecommunications services;
  •  audio and video media related services;
  • petroleum exploration and production;
  • ground and air transportation services;
  • activities related to investigations,
  • security and military sectors;
  • the manufacturing of weapons,
  • explosives as well as military equipment,
  • devices and clothing;
  • printing and publishing services;
  • banking and finance activities;
  •  payment and cash handling systems;
  •  commercial agents services;
  •  insurance activities,
  • medical retailing such as private pharmacies;
  • Haj and Umrah services;
  •  employment of labor, servants
  • recruitment of employees;
  • activities related to poison control centres,
  • blood banks and health quarantines;
  • water, electricity and fisheries services

The implementation of 100% foreign ownership on mainland contributes to achieving the various objectives. This law encourages investors in business development for foreign companies and attracts business in recent technology or advanced industries. The Abu Dhabi FDI license is a golden opportunity for investors to establish their presence in the Middle East!