Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and other government entities are determined to make the capital of the United Arab Emirates even more attractive to entrepreneurs because they’ve decided to lower business setup fees by up to 94 percent.
“We hope this significant change in fee structure helps to further ease the set-up process for new and existing investors,” explains Mohammed Al Shorafa, chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development. “Our goal for Abu Dhabi, as part of our new economic strategy, is to create a thriving business environment that encourages growth and innovation. Ease of starting and managing a business is a key lever, and we strongly believe the restructuring of fees will help us achieve this goal.”
The new business setup fees amount to just 1,000 AED ($273 USD), and they came to effect on July 27, 2021, covering all fees from Abu Dhabi government entities such as Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, the Department of Municipalities and Transport, membership fees for Abu Dhabi Chamber, CoC (Certificate of Conformity) issuance fee, and others.
This isn’t the first move Abu Dhabi have made in order to attract more entrepreneurship. In the past, the city has provided everything from rent rebates and discounts on utility bills to loan guarantee packages. Combined, all these business growth measures create an environment that’s especially favorable to tech entrepreneurs, who often compete with large enterprises with minimal financial resources. The less fees and other expenses they have to worry about, the more money they can dedicate to developing a great product and making it available to customers.
Abu Dhabi expects its economy to grow as much as 8 percent during the next two years as it recovers from the pandemic. The growth is expected to be driven mainly by government spending, foreign direct investment, the oil sector, and financial services.
Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 To Help Climate Technology Startups
The initiative was announced at the COP28 summit and will help selected startups with a $200,000 cash injection and further incentives.
Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global technology system, has launched a new initiative to support climate technology startups backed by several of the UAE’s largest public and private sector organizations.
A total of 342 startups have submitted applications so far, with the top companies being added to a shortlist that will be revealed shortly. Selected startups will receive Dh250,000 ($68,000) in incentives and an upfront cash support package of Dh250,000. In addition, the top performers of Hub71’s new initiative will also receive a top-up of up to Dh250,000 in exchange for additional equity.
Ahmad Alwan, deputy chief executive of Hub71, said: “This initiative aims to bring in different entities that have a shared mission towards climate tech […] Throughout the journey, we will support these companies, not only from being startups to becoming mature companies but also to facilitate their engagement with entities that would support them with access to capital, market, and talent”.
The Hub71+ ClimateTech ecosystem is backed by the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and the National Central Cooling Company, who have each pledged Dh500,000 to the initiative as anchor partners.
They are joined by corporate partners, including Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ, Aldar Properties, sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Masdar City, and Dubai’s Emirates NBD. In addition, Siemens Energy is also onboard as an anchor partner.
So far, Hub71 has helped 260 member startups and created over 1,000 jobs, according to the organization’s website. In addition, it has collectively raised around Dh5 billion since its foundation in 2019.