Frequently Asked Questions - Abu Dhabi Investment Office


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Abu Dhabi is an ideal place for growing companies interested in exploring agriculture in desert climates. With its year-round warm climate and desert environment, Abu Dhabi offers an exciting opportunity for AgTech companies to accelerate their research and product development in desert agriculture.

As part of the Abu Dhabi Government’s Ghadan 21 accelerator programme, we are working to attract foreign direct investment and R&D in agricultural technology.

It is one of several sectors that have been prioritised as part of programme to accelerate the emirate’s economic growth and reflect the priorities of its citizens, residents and investors.

There are three key sub-sectors within the AgTech ecosystem that align with Abu Dhabi’s priorities and desert environment:

1. Indoor farming technology: in line with Abu Dhabi’s aspiration of water conservation, advancement in indoor farming technology is a priority area. With growing local and international population, Abu Dhabi’s demand for high quality farming produce will put indoor farming technology at the forefront.

2. Precision agriculture and ag-robotics: Abu Dhabi is an ideal place for companies pursuing precision agriculture and ag-robotics due to a growing demand for agriculture technologies. This will help local farmers to minimise resource utilisation and wastage of critical resources including water, energy and land.

3. Algae-based biofuels: increasing demand for biofuels, as an alternative to traditional fuel, makes algae-based biofuels an attractive sector. All-year round sunlight, access to saltwater and abundant land provides companies with an ideal environment for biofuels in Abu Dhabi.

Simply fill out the form here, and our team will be in touch.

We accept applications on a rolling basis. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

Yes, we offer incentives for innovative knowledge-based projects in the AgTech sub-sectors, both from agricultural technology companies who would be new to Abu Dhabi as well as those already present here and are looking to expand.

There is no fixed number. If your company is considering whether or not to apply, we strongly encourage you to do so and would love to hear from you.

If your company is not a good fit for our agricultural technology initiative, it may be eligible for other incentive programmes we run. Please contact us here

In addition to providing generous financial incentives, Abu Dhabi offers a wide range of benefits to both businesses and individuals, including:

- Globally competitive tax rates (0% income and corporate tax)
- World-class infrastructure (ranked #5 in the Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017) and the ability to handle high-volume commodities
- Located at the heart of a large and rapidly growing region, with 80% of the world’s population within an eight-hour plane journey
- Inexpensive energy sources
- Favorable tariff structures

The key steps are as follows:
1. Register your interest online on our website
2. Submit your basic company information
3. Have an introductory phone call with our team to discuss further details
4. Submit detailed additional information
5. Deliver an in-person pitch at the ADIO
6. Receive a comprehensive incentive package
7. Sign a Memorandum of Understanding with ADIO
8. Transition to Abu Dhabi!

Abu Dhabi’s rich natural environment offers a unique mix of topographic and ecological diversity, which attracts local and international visitors to the emirate. Abu Dhabi is committed to protecting and managing the emirate’s rich biodiversity and further developing the ecosystem.

ADIO is offering incentives under four categories:
1. Fiscal incentives - land lease exemptions and tax waivers
2. Administrative support - licensing and permit processing
3. Marketing investment matching for projects in prioritised locations
4. Infrastructure investment - to facilitate connectivity to sites

Private investors are eligible for incentive packages including but not limited to private developers, hotel operators and individuals.

Each location has its own set of criteria:

• Al Marfa: Proposed projects should be affordable, eco-friendly and located in an area zoned for tourism (e.g., bungalow style 3 or 4 star hotels). Offerings should include environmentally friendly ecotourism activities to explore the area of Al Marfa and enjoy the natural offerings in the area.

• Desert Locations - Liwa, Alwathba, Alkhatim and Suwaihan: Proposed projects should have eco-friendly characteristics and be within a maximum 3-hour drive from Abu Dhabi city; proposed hotel projects are only eligible if they are located at least 1-hour away from city centre. Offerings should include access to natural attractions and adventure activities.

• Private Islands: Proposed projects should be on an island within a 2-hour journey from Abu Dhabi city. Offerings should include luxury eco-friendly resorts with water activities that offer unique value propositions and enable access to the natural environment around the islands.

Other criteria:

• Approval of construction and operation environmental standards and low carbon footprint by the Environmental Agency, Abu Dhabi
• A significant presence in Abu Dhabi
• Construction completion date prior to January 2022

Fill out this form to express your interest in the incentive programme Apply Now.

There is no fixed number, we encourage all interested parties to apply as soon as possible.

Yes, ADIO provides financial support to select companies that fall within Abu Dhabi’s priority sectors. Please reach out to our investor care team if you feel your company could benefit from expanding into or relocating to the emirate. We can also assist you with identifying trusted banks within Abu Dhabi.

The UAE works closely with The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and has been a member since 1974. It has robust Intellectual Property laws and regulations. For more information please visit WIPO (

As part of our services, we can advise you on selecting a location for your business, including identification of potential office space or land.

ADIO only provides financial support to companies who establish projects in Abu Dhabi, although our investment programme is broad and includes investment into companies and funds that have operations and investments across MENA and the world operates in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

We provide “After Care” services to ensure that our investors are satisfied and business needs are fulfilled. You can contact us at any point to avail our services. You may also be eligible to apply to any number of our investment programmes at any time.

The Department of Economic Development is the government entity responsible for commercial licensing through the Abu Dhabi Business Center, which serves as a one-stop shop for all your business needs. The ADIO team will help you every step of the way.

For more information, please visit Abu Dhabi Business Center (

The Abu Dhabi Government provides tremendous support for businesses established within free zones in the form of incentives such as:
- 100% foreign ownership of companies (eliminating the need for a local partner)
- Low cost operational environment
- Full repatriation of capital and profits
- Exemption from import, export, corporate and personal taxes

Additional support is provided in the form of expedited approval processes for obtaining necessary permits, licences and clearances from relevant authorities, as well as assistance in finding skilled labour and suitable accommodation.