Department of Economic Development regulates practice of business activities in Abu Dhabi


Department of Economic Development regulates practice of business activities in Abu Dhabi

14 Jul 2020

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has issued a new resolution regulating the practice of economic activities in the emirate.

The resolution covers key activities, such as commercial, industrial, occupational, professional, agricultural, and related services that are legally allowed and licensed to be practiced in Abu Dhabi's economic sector.

Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, explained that the resolution was issued in line with the department's commitment towards regulating all aspects of the emirate's economic sector, particularly through the setting of policies, standards, systems, resolutions, as well as the executive and operational circulars that help organize the sector’s operation according to the set accredited legislation, agreements and treaties at local and global levels.

Al Balooshi added that the resolution is part of ADDED's key role of licensing entities, companies and the individuals operating within the economic sector as well as monitoring compliance in order to provide high-end services according to existing legislation and in coordination with competent authorities.

"This newly-issued resolution is aimed towards regulating Abu Dhabi's thriving business sector while also enhancing the competitiveness of the doing business environment in the emirate on the regional and global levels within the global competitiveness reports, which stipulate clarity and ease-of- the regulating procedures and rules of practicing economic activities," Al Balooshi said.

ADDED Undersecretary further pointed out that the resolution provides a clear definition of all procedures, regulations, and requirements on economic licensing. The resolution covers activities such as licensing issuance, renewal and cancellation transactions offered for organizations, companies, corporate branches comprising the different legal forms of economic licenses.

Al Balooshi noted that the total number of economic licenses registered in the emirate came to around 179,048 licenses issued until the end of June 2020 which are further divided into 147,580 commercial licenses; 1,918 industrial licenses; 2,237 tourism licenses; 3,609 professional licenses; 23,461 artisan licenses and 243 agricultural and fisheries licenses.

Under the terms of the resolution, ADDED identified the classification of licenses and activities and the regulations and conditions of any facility's registration in the commercial register. The resolution also provides in full details the electronic procedures of how to submit applications, registering and storing licenses’ related data, commercial names, and other relevant information.

ADDED also expressed the importance of developing financial statements for all registered economic facilities to be accessible for review by the department or the competent supervisor authorities. In addition, these facilities are urged to register partnership contracts, their services agents or any other contracts that were signed through the electronic signatures system, which was established and approved by ADDED without prejudice on relevant legislation.

The resolution also details the licensing procedures for facilities and the locations where they allowed to practice economic activities, license’s duration, steps to reserve a commercial name as well as licensing organizations owned by Emirati citizens or residents. It also specifies the proper process involved in how to issue or cancel the licenses of companies, including the addition of new activities to be mentioned in the facilities' licenses and their branches as well.

The newly-issued resolution also provides a clear explanation of the processes involved in cancelling the license of any facility's branch; converting or selling branches of local facilities; licensing of foreign companies; transferring the records of a foreign company; cancellation, sale and conversion of a license issued for a branch of a foreign company; licensing of branches registered to Abu Dhabi's free zones and the issuance of electronic commercial licenses for individuals and trade permissions for facilities.

ADDED also defined the procedures needed for the issuance of an industrial license according to categories comprising under-construction, production, and Industry Pioneers. The resolution also covers the obligations and regulations to be complied with by the registered industrial facilities and to allow them to practice a commercial activity based on the license they hold. Moreover, the resolution indicates licensing procedures available for local and non-local professionals, in addition to the steps of renewing licenses and modifying the facility’s data with clarification of cases that require announcing or publishing in newspapers.

Other processes explained in the resolution include the commitments and responsibilities of the services agents; inheritance transfer mechanism; cases of eliminating the ban on licensing a facility; imposition of restrictions and conditions on mortgaging of shares and assets; suspension and freezing of a license; right to commercial franchising; business incubators and accelerators, cases of cancelling or not granting a license and procedures in obtaining a warehouse permit.

The full details of the new resolution are available at ADDED's official website,

Source: WAM