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Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates ("UAE") in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the UAE. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast. The city proper had a population of 621,000 in 2012.

Abu Dhabi houses important offices of the federal government, and is the seat for the UAE Government and the home of the President of the UAE. Abu Dhabi has grown to be a cosmopolitan metropolis. Its rapid development and urbanization, coupled with the relatively high average income of its population, has transformed Abu Dhabi to a larger and advanced metropolis.

Today the city is the country's center of politics, industrial activities, and a major cultural, and commercial center due to its position as the capital. Abu Dhabi alone generated 56.7% of the GDP of the UAE in 2008. Abu Dhabi is home to important financial institutions such as the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the Central Bank of the UAE and the corporate headquarters of many companies and numerous multinational corporations. One of the world's largest producers of oil, Abu Dhabi has actively attempted to diversify its economy in recent years through investments in financial services and tourism.

A company establishing a business presence in Abu Dhabi is licensed on the basis of the activities that it will conduct in Abu Dhabi. The nature of the activities in Abu Dhabi, as well as the nature of the business and customers, affects the form of the company available, whether a local partner is required, and whether and which free zone might be appropriate. The issues and requirements are very different from the formation of a company in most other developed economies.

Abu Dhabi currently has four Free Zones: Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), Abu Dhabi Airport Business Park, Twofour54, and Masdar City.

Abu Dhabi companies have relatively simple application forms and require a basic business description or plan and standard corporate documents to be submitted. The application forms and supporting documents can be prepared within a day or two, but the corporate documents must be legalized, which can require two weeks to a month. It takes about six to eight weeks to obtain the trade license (depending on the number of government approvals required and complexity of the license required), unless problems are encountered or issues are raised. We will guide you through the incorporation process and we will provide precise instructions on the corporate documents required and assist with their preparation.