The regulation of economic activities practicing in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

Industrial licensing under Resolution no. 16 of 2020 concerning the regulation of economic activities practicing in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi


On 24 June 2020, H.E. Mohammed Ali Al Hammadi Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development issued resolution no. 145 of 2020 concerning the regulation of economic activities practicing in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. By issuance of the said resolution, the previous administrative resolution no. 25 of 2008 concerning the regulation of economic activities and issuance of licenses was cancelled as well as all previous resolutions issued by Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development which are in conflict with the aforementioned resolution. Generally, the provisions of this resolution shall be applied on every natural or legal person who practices an economic activity in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Specifically, the aforementioned resolution sets out specific articles for industrial licenses that were not stipulated in the previous administrative resolution no. 25 of 2008, which are summarized as follows:


Where the industrial licenses were classified into three categories, each of which is related to a specific stage of the industrial project according to the following:

  1. Industry pioneers license; which is the industrial license that is issued without lease contract and for a period of one year, renewable for same period for one time only. So that the investor can obtain industrial land suitable for the licensed industrial project, and during this period the investor must transfer the industrial license from the category of industry pioneers to the category under construction. Investor may extend this period if he has acceptable justifications.

  2. Under construction license; which is the industrial license that is issued to the investor after obtaining a land or industrial property in order to establish and set the industrial establishment to practice the licensed industrial activity. Under this stage, the investor is obligated to transfer the license to the production category within 36 months, and this period may be extended if the investor presented acceptable justifications.

  3. Production license; which is the industrial license issued to the investor in order to initiate practicing the industrial activity and production.


The resolution also specified the standards and obligations of the industrial establishments as the following:

  1. The obligation to notify the Department of Economic Development in the event that the industrial project suspends working completely or partially, or suspends any of its activities totally or partially within thirty days from the date of the cessation of the activity with an explanation of the reasons for that.

  2. That the location of the industrial license is commensurate with the nature of the activity to be practiced according to the standards set by the Department of Economic Development.

  3. Commitment to practice the licensed industrial activities, taking into account not to cause direct or indirect damage to the other establishments.


The industrial establishment may also request to add commercial activities related to its industrial activity, in accordance with the following conditions:

  1. If the commercial activities are practicing at the factory site.

  2. The industrial establishment must obtain a commercial branch license, in the event that commercial activities are practicing outside the factory site but inside the country.


In conclusion such updates will contribute to a thriving, sustainable and innovative industrial sector that serves as a robust growth engine for Abu Dhabi’s economy and promote competitiveness at all stages of industrial production in addition to increase the value added to local industries and offer incentives to enhance the global quality of industrial output besides facilitate collaborations that drive knowledge exchange across various industrial projects.

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