The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (Added) unveiled a virtual license for non-resident foreign investors as part of its efforts to attract new investments to the emirate.

The new license lets non-resident foreign investors conduct business in the emirate before proceeding with their residence permits, as well as allow them to conduct business from outside the UAE, Added said on Thursday.

It will facilitate the “economic activity licensing procedures and requirements, regardless of the location of the investor”, said Mr. Al Shorafa. He said that the initiative is in line with the directions of the UAE government to enable cross-border digital trade.

The virtual license allows applicants to obtain a permit within 13 economic sectors that are considered the top strategic industries targeted by the Abu Dhabi government to attract FDI, said Rashid AbdulKarim Al Blooshi, undersecretary of Added.

These sectors include agriculture, manufacturing, repair, contracting, maintenance, installations, retail, transport, services, leasing, health, and entertainment.

Foreign investors can apply for a license in any of these economic sectors and own the business outright by choosing one of two approved legal forms – a limited liability company and a sole proprietorship LLC.

The license is subject to local fees of a maximum of Dh1,000, provided all additional federal fees have been paid upon the completion of the remaining requirements.

Rabie Al Hajeri, acting executive director of the Abu Dhabi Business Centre, said the virtual license does not require previous approvals from the concerned entities and it focuses on granting an economic license to people residing outside the UAE to encourage them to do business in Abu Dhabi.


How to get the virtual license?

Applicants need to log into the Abu Dhabi Business Centre’s website, select “Abu Dhabi virtual license”, then sign in through UAE Pass.

After that, the investor should choose an economic name (in English only), enter their contact details, identify the economic activity to be practiced, attach a copy of their passport and pay the fees by credit card. The license is then issued.

Source: Abu Dhabi unveils ‘virtual’ business licences to boost foreign direct investment (