Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and covers around four-fifths of the country’s total land area. As the capital of UAE, its population is only about three million, but there are more than 200 nationalities living and working in the emirate. It is one of the most open and progressive communities in the Gulf region.
Guided by Abu Dhabi's Economic Vision 2030, certain sectors have been strategically earmarked to attract investment. These include export-oriented sectors such as information & communication technology, manufacturing, and tourism.
Smartphone penetration in the UAE is close to 200%, one of the highest rates in the world1. Consequently, the amount of data stored digitally is rising dramatically. This spells opportunities for big data specialists and digital security companies from Singapore to carve out a market niche in Abu Dhabi. You can support firms across various sectors as they seek to protect their company data and customers' privacy.
Over the past 15 years, Abu Dhabi has invested heavily in industrial infrastructure, especially for aluminum and steel production. Other key industrial manufacturing sectors in Abu Dhabi include aerospace, defence, food processing, and petrochemicals.
There are many Free Trade Zones that provide investors with strategic geographic advantages and cost-effective facilities. This includes the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi, ZonesCorp, and Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi is a key cultural centre in the UAE, with rich heritage and leisure assets.
In 2017, the city’s hospitality sector welcomed close to 4.9 million hotel guests, an impressive 9.8% increase from the previous year. Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism is aiming to receive 6.9 million hotel guests by 2020.2 Against this backdrop, Singapore companies can pursue opportunities in the hospitality, leisure, and event management sectors.
1: “Digital Middle East: Transforming the region into a leading digital economy”, Digital McKinsey, October 2016
2: Abu Dhabi Investment Office Website
Dubai is the UAE’s key financial and trading hub. It is also a major logistics and distribution node. Here’s why you should grow your business in – and through – this city.
Dubai topped the region in the 2017 Global Financial Centres Index, and came in 18th globally – up seven places from the previous year.
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a 110 ha district and major global financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia markets. Established in 2004, DIFC has its own independent, internationally regulated authority and judicial system, global financial exchange, and tax-friendly free zone regime.
DIFC offers 100% foreign ownership governed by a common-law framework distinct from the UAE legal system. It offers you a 50-year guarantee of zero taxes on corporate income and profits, complemented by the UAE-Singapore Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement.
Dubai is investing heavily in infrastructure and hospitality projects in the lead-up to hosting the international trade fair, Expo 2020. The projects include an US$8 billion (S$11 billion) expansion of Al Maktoum International Airport located at the south of the city. The Dubai government expects Expo 2020 to boost the real estate market and the hospitality sector, and create up to 300,000 jobs.3
The Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030 aims to strengthen the industrial sector and create more jobs for Emiratis. It includes 75 key initiatives aimed at generating an additional US$44 billion (S$60 billion) in revenue, create 27,000 jobs in the industrial sector, and boost exports by about US$4 billion (S$6 billion) – all by 2030.
Six priority sectors have been identified, namely:
3: “Dubai splashes billions on mega projects ahead of Expo”, The Business Times, 10 April 2018
Singapore businesses can access market research, business matching and co-working space providers to speed up entry into Dubai through Enterprise Singapore’s Plug & Play Network.
You can also leverage Enterprise Singapore’s network and overseas centre in Dubai to identify suitable opportunities and partners for growth.