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How To Setup Business in Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone?

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Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone (ADAFZ) is a world-class business hub strategically located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With its proximity to Abu Dhabi International Airport, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and business-friendly policies, ADAFZ provides a thriving environment for businesses to grow and flourish. If you’re considering establishing your business in this dynamic freezone, this guide will walk you through the process, highlighting key steps, requirements, and benefits.

1. Research and Planning

Before diving into the process of setting up a business in Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and develop a comprehensive business plan. This initial step will help you gain a clear understanding of the market, competitors, target audience, and the legal and regulatory framework.

Key Takeaway: Conduct extensive research and develop a robust business plan to ensure a strong foundation for your venture in Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone.

2. Determine the Business Activity

Next, you need to determine the nature of your business activity and select the appropriate license. ADAFZ offers a wide range of license options, including trade licenses, service licenses, and industrial licenses, among others. Each license type is specific to certain business activities, so it’s essential to choose the one that aligns with your business goals.

3. Choose the Legal Entity

Once you have selected the license type, you need to choose the legal entity for your business. ADAFZ offers several options, including free zone limited liability company (FZ-LLC), branch of a foreign company, or a branch of an existing UAE company. Consider your business requirements, liability, and ownership preferences when selecting the legal entity.

4. Secure Office Space

To establish your business in Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone, you’ll need to secure suitable office space. ADAFZ provides a variety of office options, from flexi-desks to executive offices and even warehouses. Choose the space that suits your needs and budget, keeping in mind the scalability of your business.

5. Apply for License and Approvals

With your business plan, license type, legal entity, and office space in place, it’s time to initiate the licensing process. Prepare the required documentation, which may include your business plan, passport copies, and other relevant certificates. Submit the application along with the necessary fees to the ADAFZ authorities and await approval.

6. Obtain NOC and Lease Agreement

Once your license application is approved, you will need to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from ADAFZ. This document confirms your eligibility to conduct business in the free zone. Additionally, you’ll need to sign a lease agreement for your office space, outlining the terms and conditions of your tenancy.

7. Complete Visa and Immigration Formalities

After securing your NOC and lease agreement, you can proceed with the visa and immigration formalities. ADAFZ offers various visa options for employees, investors, and their families. Ensure you gather the required documents, such as passport copies, visa application forms, and medical fitness certificates, and submit them to the relevant authorities.

8. Open a Corporate Bank Account

To facilitate your business operations, it’s essential to open a corporate bank account in Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone. Select a bank that aligns with your business requirements and provides convenient banking services. Complete the necessary documentation and fulfill any minimum deposit requirements to open your account.

9. Setup IT Infrastructure

In today’s digital age, having a robust IT infrastructure is crucial for the success of any business. Arrange for the setup of essential IT systems, such as internet connectivity, telephone lines, and necessary software and hardware. Ensure your IT infrastructure meets your business needs and supports seamless operations.

10. Start Business Operations

With all the necessary steps completed, it’s time to launch your business operations in Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone. Hire and onboard employees, set up your workspace, and commence your business activities. Leverage the opportunities provided by ADAFZ to expand your business networks and explore new horizons.

Key Takeaway: Follow these ten steps to successfully establish your business in Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone and unlock the vast potential it offers for growth and success.


Setting up a business in Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone provides entrepreneurs with an excellent opportunity to tap into the thriving economy of the UAE. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, you can navigate through the requirements and formalities with ease. Take advantage of ADAFZ’s strategic location, modern infrastructure, and business-friendly policies to propel your business forward.

If you have any further questions or need specific information, please refer to the FAQs below.


Can foreign individuals or companies establish businesses in Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone?

Yes, both foreign individuals and companies can establish businesses in Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone.

What are the benefits of setting up a business in ADAFZ?

Some benefits include 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, easy company setup process, and access to a global network.

How long does it take to obtain a license in ADAFZ?

The time required to obtain a license can vary but usually takes a few weeks after submitting the application.

Can I apply for multiple licenses under the same company in ADAFZ?

Yes, you can apply for multiple licenses under the same company in ADAFZ.

Is there a minimum capital requirement to set up a business in ADAFZ?

No, there is no minimum capital requirement to set up a business in ADAFZ.

Can I own a property in ADAFZ?

No, ADAFZ does not allow property ownership. However, you can lease office space for your business.

Are there restrictions on hiring employees in ADAFZ?

No, there are no restrictions on hiring employees in ADAFZ. You can recruit both local and expatriate talent.

Can I operate my business outside ADAFZ with a license obtained from the free zone?

No, a license obtained from ADAFZ is valid only within the free zone. To operate outside, you may need to establish a branch or enter into a partnership.

Can I apply for a visa for my family members through ADAFZ?

Yes, you can apply for visas for your family members, subject to the visa regulations of the UAE.

Are there any specific sector restrictions in ADAFZ?

ADAFZ welcomes businesses from various sectors, and there are no specific sector restrictions. However, certain activities may require additional approvals.

Is there a legal framework governing businesses in ADAFZ?

Yes, ADAFZ operates under its own legal framework, which provides a robust and secure environment for businesses.

Can I transfer my existing UAE company to ADAFZ?

Yes, you can transfer your existing UAE company to ADAFZ by converting it into a branch.