Abu Dhabi’s Business Activity Report for 2023, issued by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), has reported annual growth of major indicators. The Business Activity Report for 2023 emphasises the business ecosystem's attractiveness and its ability to attract quality investments, as well as businesses’ commitment to comply with local and international legislation, regulations, and standards of transparency and governance.

The report’s findings are supported by the emirate’s strong economic growth, especially within non-oil sectors, which contribute 52.8 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s GDP.

A total of 25,647 new economic licenses were issued in 2023, and 75,778 licenses were renewed, a growth of 3.5 per cent. Active licenses in the emirate increased to 143,617 licenses, a growth of 10.9 per cent compared to 2022, which demonstrates strong growth and confidence in Abu Dhabi’s business sector.

In 2023, Abu Dhabi witnessed growth in the professional, tourism, industrial, agricultural, fishery, and livestock sectors, with the number of new industrial licenses during the past year reaching 363, an increase of 51.25 per cent. New tourism licenses reached 219, an increase of 22.35 per cent, while the growth rate of new licenses in the agriculture, fishery, and livestock increased 288.46 per cent compared to 2022.

According to the Business Activity Report, 24,143 commercial sector licenses were issued in 2023, comprising 94.1 per cent of the total, while new occupational licenses and professional licences touched 411 and 410 respectively. The total capital of new economic licenses announced during the past year exceeded AED210.7 billion.

The report’s findings illustrate the effectiveness of the various initiatives launched by ADDED to enhance the emirate-based businesses commitment to local and international standards and further develop the competitiveness of Abu Dhabi’s economy. This is highlighted by the rise in real beneficiary requests, which increased from 16,282 to 49,163, a 201.9 per cent rise.

His Excellency Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, said: “The Business Activity Report for last year reflects the emirate’s ability to attract quality investments, and demonstrates the effectiveness of the initiatives launched by ADDED. The findings show that we are delivering the objectives of economic diversification strategy through infrastructure and digital transformation and the continuous development of legislative and regulatory frameworks. We are continuing to provide promising opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs, and distinguished talents.

“Compliance with local and global legislation, regulations, and standards is a top priority for us as it guarantees a vibrant and competitive business sector. The remarkable growth in Real Beneficiary requests confirms the success of the awareness programmes and campaigns that we have undertaken to increase investors and business owners’ knowledge of their importance in providing the frameworks and accurate information necessary to consolidate investor confidence. We will continue to develop partnerships between the public and private sectors, meet the requirements of investors, ensure ease of doing business, and increase Abu Dhabi’s global competitiveness to consolidate the emirate’s position as preferred destination for talents, investments, and businesses.”

His Excellency Mohammed Munif Al Mansouri, Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Business Centre, said: “The indicators of last year's annual report are testament to the flexibility and vitality of Abu Dhabi’s business sector and its ability to provide attractive opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors from inside and outside the UAE. These indicators also confirm the effectiveness of the initiatives launched by the Abu Dhabi Business Centre to ensure the best possible conditions to achieve growth and prosperity for investors, while preserving consumer rights, intellectual property, and the quality of goods and services.”