The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development has announced a list of 1105 registered commercial and industrial activities that are open for ownership by natural and legal non-citizens enabling them to fully or partially own commercial companies to practice these commercial activities in Abu Dhabi.

The Department’s decision on foreign ownership of commercial activities comes in line with the Federal Decree-Law No. (26) of 2020 amending the provisions of Federal Law No. (2) of 2015 on the Commercial Companies Law and its amendments by adding articles that permit the establishment of 100% foreign-owned companies in Abu Dhabi.

HE Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of ADDED, said, “This announcement of the list of economic activities available for foreign ownership reflects the keenness of the Abu Dhabi Government to attract further foreign direct investments and to promote an open and resilient competitive business environment. The decision is one of many decisions and initiatives to provide incentives for the private sector in Abu Dhabi and to enhance the status of Abu Dhabi on the global investment map.”

HE underlined the Department’s keenness to continue improving the business environment, by facilitating and streamlining the practice of business in the emirate and removing all impediments facing investment projects, by reducing the burden on business facilities. In addition, the Department is keen to provide incentives and implement initiatives that increase opportunities of success of these enterprises and maintain their continuity in support of their sustainable growth and expansion.

The Department's decision regarding activities available for foreign ownership stated that the list of activities available for foreign ownership is updated by decisions of the Council of Ministers defining the activities with a strategic impact. These activities are applied to companies licensed following the federal and local laws regulating business licensing controls according to the type of activity.

The decision indicated that existing companies have the right to adjust their status, provided they comply with the regulations on activities or other applicable restrictions, in accordance with the procedures adopted by the Department. People interested may refer to the decision and the list of activities via the Abu Dhabi Business Center website at