Relocating to Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI

Relocation & Recruitment Advice

For recruitment in Abu Dhabi contact AP Executive. Use our job search function to see our current jobs in Abu Dhabi. Our consultants can help with Abu Dhabi wealth management, family office, fund management, private equity jobs, legal vacancies, trust jobs and all executive Abu Dhabi job vacancies.  

Overview

Abu Dhabi is the second largest Emirate out of 7 but by far the richest - generating over 56% of the total GDP of the UAE. Abu Dhabi is only 67,340 kilometres squared, and has a population of around 2.65 million (2014 estimate). Furthermore, it's one of the richest countries in the world.

Although Abu Dhabi is primarily known for its extensive oil and gas reserves that generate a substantial bulk of the country’s GDP, the financial services sector is slowly gaining momentum by capitalising on its strategic location, political and economic stability and well-established transport links.

As an emerging financial centre in the Middle East, there are opportunities for a wide range of services including banking, insurance, wealth management, trusts, legal, asset management and capital market activities. The government’s commitment to diversifying the oil-based economy is witnessed in the recent pro-business initiatives such as establishment of free trade zones and investment on infrastructural projects. 

As the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is not just an advanced metropolis with high-rise buildings serving as centres of commercial activities, but acts as a gateway to experience the rich cultural heritage of the Middle East.

Why choose Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is a thriving city with billions of dollars of investment having been pumped in to the emirate to modernise and fall in line with western cities. An extraordinarily rich country – it attracts expats primarily for two reasons: competitive salaries and tax-free incomes.

Abu Dhabi has a very beneficial tax system for employees, unless you are working in the petroleum, gas and oil industry and branches of international banks. If so, the taxes can reach up to 55%. Although, even if you are working in these industries, you wont get taxed on your income unless it exceeds DHS 1,000,000. There is a "VAT" tax, of sorts, on certain goods and services which are between 5-15% depending. There are no capital gains tax as such in the UAE apart from on the industries mentioned above.

Abu Dhabi encourages new businesses and as a result, many have been established by non Emirate nationals. Establishment of the free zones has further boosted Abu Dhabi’s popularity as an attractive business destination. There are several incentives of trading in the free zones, such as 100 per cent ownership, exemption from import, export, corporate and personal taxes, robust infrastructure and hassle-free registration and operation.

With a significant expat community and safe and hospitable environment, Abu Dhabi is best suited for people looking to settle down in the Middle East.

There are a number of private and renowned international schools where expats can enrol their children. Healthcare facility is of high-standard in both private and public hospitals. Healthcare insurance is mandatory for expats, which is often financed by the employer.

In addition, there is guaranteed year-long sunshine, with plenty of stunning beaches with turquoise water as well as plenty of opportunities for shopping and entertainment.

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Requirements to set up a company

Before applying for a business license, it is important to decide the legal structure as the fees, rules and requirements vary depending on the type and nature of the business activity.

For a more comprehensive guide on setting up a company, please visit the official website.

Starting a Business 

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Requirements for employees wishing to relocate

Relocating to Abu Dhabi is relatively straight forward; however there is a fair amount of bureaucracy to be dealt with. Expats coming to Abu Dhabi in search of employment must first obtain a work permit. You need to secure a job offer from an employer willing to sponsor your visa. After which, it is usually the employer who assumes the onus of applying a permit on your behalf. Once a permit is given, it has to be renewed every year.

For more information, please visit the following website.

Applying for Work Permit

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