Following the announcement made by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADED) on September 15th, 2018 launching the first phase of its Dual Licenses Initiative (DLI) to allow offshore companies to carry out their activities in Abu Dhabi mainland, it has now materialized through an administrative decision issued by the Chairman of the ADED, H.E Saif Mohammed Al Hajeri on 18th July 2018 and published in the Official Gazette (Decision).

Under the Decision, entities operating in Abu Dhabi free zones may submit an application to the ADED to issue a license and carry out their economic activities in the emirate, from their offshore offices. Free Zone entities must however comply with the relevant offshore licensing and registration regulations and obtain a no-objection certificate enabling them to operate outside the geographical limits of their free zone; it is also important for them to have their own office and not more than one free zone license.

Upon ensuring all legal requirements are satisfied, the ADED will issue a license allowing the offshore entity to carry out its business in mainland Abu Dhabi. More information on the applicable fees and procedures can be found here.

The DLI is a positive step towards encouraging investors and companies to expand their operations in the Emirate. Phase 2 of the DLI will be highly anticipated by the local business community.

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