Capital International Group


Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is not only known for its rich cultural heritage and stunning landscapes but also for its thriving business environment. Within Abu Dhabi, the mainland sector offers a diverse and attractive landscape for entrepreneurs and investors looking to establish and grow their businesses. In this comprehensive pillar page, we will explore Abu Dhabi Mainland, understanding what it represents, the reasons behind its significance, and the myriad opportunities it presents for businesses of all types and sizes.

Defining Abu Dhabi Mainland:

Abu Dhabi Mainland, often referred to as “onshore,” encompasses the central business areas within the emirate. These areas are regulated by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Abu Dhabi and the UAE federal government. Setting up a business in Abu Dhabi Mainland provides the flexibility to operate across the entire emirate and engage in a wide range of business activities.

Advantages of Choosing Abu Dhabi Mainland for Business:

  1. Strategic Location: Abu Dhabi Mainland offers prime locations in the capital city, providing easy access to government entities, clients, and partners.
  2. Diverse Business Activities: Businesses in Abu Dhabi Mainland can engage in various activities, from retail and trade to professional services and manufacturing.
  3. Access to Government Contracts: With presence on the mainland, companies can bid for government contracts and tap into a significant market segment.
  4. Tax Benefits: While there is a corporate tax rate in Abu Dhabi, it’s notably competitive compared to global standards.
  5. Local and International Market Reach: Abu Dhabi Mainland businesses can cater to both the local and international markets effectively.
  6. Business Reputation: Operating in Abu Dhabi Mainland often carries a high level of professionalism and credibility, which can be advantageous in many industries.

Steps to Establish a Business in Abu Dhabi Mainland:

  1. Select a Legal Structure: Choose the appropriate legal structure for your business, such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), sole proprietorship, or branch of a foreign company.
  2. Trade Name Registration: Reserve a unique trade name for your business and obtain approval from the Abu Dhabi DED.
  3. Memorandum of Association (MOA): Prepare the MOA, outlining the business’s activities, shareholding structure, and other relevant details.
  4. Office Space: Secure an office space that complies with Abu Dhabi DED regulations and obtain the necessary tenancy contract.
  5. Initial Approval: Submit the required documents and obtain initial approval from the Abu Dhabi DED.
  6. Additional Approvals: Depending on your business activity, you may need approvals from other government entities.
  7. License Issuance: Once all approvals are secured, the Abu Dhabi DED will issue your business license.
  8. Visa Processing: Process visa applications for business partners and employees.
  9. Bank Account Opening: Open a corporate bank account with a UAE bank to facilitate financial transactions.
  10. Commence Operations: With all requirements met, you can begin your business operations in Abu Dhabi Mainland.


Abu Dhabi Mainland serves as a gateway to thriving in the capital of the UAE, offering businesses access to a vibrant market, a supportive regulatory environment, and strategic advantages. Whether you are a startup, an established company, or an investor, the opportunities within Abu Dhabi Mainland are diverse and promising. By navigating the setup process effectively and leveraging the unique advantages it offers, you can position your business for success and growth within the dynamic landscape of Abu Dhabi. Explore the boundless potential that Abu Dhabi Mainland presents and embark on a journey toward business excellence in the heart of the UAE’s capital.

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