Stock Abu Dhabi skyline city UAE
Total requirements for 118 business activities regulated by ADDED were reduced from 709 to 162: a 77% drop. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Over 20,000 requirements to set up businesses in Abu Dhabi have been cancelled as part of the ongoing massive procedural overhaul led by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED).

Having grown to a total of 26 participating local and federal partner entities, the exercise -- first unveiled in August and amounting to 71 per cent of the total 28,788 requirements previously in place -- aims to facilitate investment and ease of doing business in the emirate.

“The government of Abu Dhabi’s decision to reduce the combined commercial activities’ licence requirements demonstrates its readiness to take practical steps wherever necessary to promote the emirate’s competitiveness regionally and globally,” said Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, undersecretary of the department.

“We are telling the world that Abu Dhabi will continuously seek to enhance its regulations, systems, and services making up the ecosystem necessary for any businesses and investors to thrive. In Abu Dhabi, public institutions play a proactive role in providing an accommodating environment for business and investment, and this is something we will continue to do as we transform the emirate’s economy,” he added.

As a sample from the 26 participating entities, the Department of Municipalities and Transport’s public health sector reduced requirements by 95 per cent from 9,654 to 511 covering 1,215 activities, with its transport sector reducing requirements by 78 per cent from 523 to 115; the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority reduced by 74 per cent from 6,587 to 1,716, covering 288 activities; the Abu Dhabi Sports Council reduced by 91 per cent from 949 to 82 covering 58 activities; the Department of Health reduced by 56 per cent from 1,512 to 672 covering 84 activities; Abu Dhabi Police reduced by 79 per cent from 387 to 80 requirements; the Securities and Commodities Authority reduced by 40 per cent from 1160 to 700 requirements.

In addition to leading the effort and drawing on international best practices to define the standards that guided the process, ADDED reduced its licensing requirements. Total requirements for 118 business activities regulated by ADDED were reduced from 709 to 162: a 77 per cent drop. The requirements of other ADDED-regulated business activities were reduced to just one, such as in the case of automotive parts and maintenance.