All About Kizad-Abu Dhabi Freezone


KIZAD Full Form-Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi

Kizad will be a powerful magnet for foreign direct investment, with global business developing large-scale primary and downstream manufacturing facilities in the industrial zone. It is anticipated that between 60 and 80 per cent of the goods manufactured in Kizad will be exported, which is why it is located in close proximity to Khalifa Port. Kizad’s strategy is to attract world-class companies and to establish international industry best practices throughout the zone. One way it will achieve this objective is by offering free zone and non-free zone options to tenants. Kizad incorporates investment locations designated as free zones, which allow companies to be 100 per cent foreign owned.

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It also includes non free zone areas allowing companies to benefit from GCC agreements on customs duty. two large parcels of land in Zone A, which is 51 square kilometers in size, have so far been given free zone status, and are together known as Abu Dhabi Free Zone. With increases in demand, more areas will be designated as free zones. In Kizad, both global and local companies will find efficient business, easy market access low operating costs and long-term support, providing firms with competitive advantages.

Kizad will set new standards for regional infrastructure, environmental protection and efficient operation, reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s status as the region’s premiere business destination. Companies setting up in Kizad’s free and non-free zone areas are very much regarded as strategic partners, helping to bring expertise and investment to Abu Dhabi. Sustained government investment in the areas will help companies participate in the long-term growth and success of the Emirate, and they will play an essential role in creating tomorrow’s business opportunities today.

Kizad’s Strategic Advantages

Easy Access to Markets

Abu Dhabi is the ideal location for businesses to tap into the huge regional and global markets. Its strategic location means businesses in the industrial Zone can  tap into a market of more than 4.5 billion consumers within four time zones of Abu Dhabi.

Kizad tenants will benefit from excellent access by sea through its ultra modern deepwater seaport, Khalifa Port. Kizad is also directly connected to the wider Middle East through the UAE’S excellent highway network, abu Dhabi international Airport, Al Maktoum international Airport and Dubai international Airport are all less than 40 minutes away, while the emerging freight and passenger rail networks will link tenants at Kizad to the far corners of the Arabian Peninsula and beyond.

Low Operating Cost Environment

Abu Dhabi offers utilities at some of the lowest rates in the world and land lease costs are also benchmarked against regional competitors. Vertically integrated clustering brings primary, midstream and downstream producers together creating economies of proximity and increased productivity.

Kizad includes clusters for Aluminium, Steel, Engineered Metal Products, Petrochemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Papers, Print & Packaging, Food and trade & Logistics. Currently in Abu Dhabi individuals and most companies are not subject to tax on their income. Furthermore at Kizad, foreign companies can either choose a joint venture with a local company allowing them to claim exemption from import duties on raw materials and exemption from customs duties when goods manufactured in Kizad are exported to GCC countries or alternatively they can choose 100% foreign ownership and avoid duties on imported goods kept in bonded status in the Industrial Zone and re-exported from the UAE.

Ease of Doing Business in Kizad

Kizad offers a number of features that help tenants do business. Kizad’s long term bankable agreement (Musataha) can be used to help raise finance for projects for example. Kizad’s One Stop Shop will facilitate relationships with Government agencies, licensing authorities and utility companies in order to help tenants get their business started. Kizad also offers workforce accommodation, warehousing, and a business park which will provide offices, commercial showrooms, a business hotel, training and research facilities, and associated retail. taken together the cost benefits ensures that businesses at Kizad are well positioned to be competitive in their industries and to drive growth in Abu Dhabi for the long term.

The benefits of Kizad free zones

Free Zones are set-up to license companies who apply to operate under the following principles: A free zone is an area which allows 100 per cent foreign ownership for businesses operating inside of it. free zone companies enjoy the benefits of zero per cent corporate tax, and can repatriate capital and profits. Companies operating with free zones are also exempt from all import of re-exprot duties, and no restrictions are placed on hiring foreign employees. Free zones are an integral part of the UAE’s economy. Over 10, 000 companies are currently registered in UAE free zones. they are a way to attract foreign investment by offering sustainable business environments, easy -to-manage start-up and licensing procedures and substantial monetary opportunities. The large concentration of companies in free zones provides vibrant networking atmospheres, making it possible to form new business relationships daily. With this in mind, Kizad is leading the way in putting the Abu Dhabi  Economic Vision 2030 into action, helping to drive the Emirate forward as the region’s major business hub.

Company set up in Kizad

As is the case in any country, foreign investors looking to set up companies in the UAE face a number of steps which can appear daunting. Dealing with government agencies in order to gain permits, licenses approval and clearances are essential. However, Kizad is working to speed up the procedures in registering a company by creating simple, streamlined administrative processes for investors, and by employing dedicated relationship managers in a one stop shop, based in Kizad to Oversee set up, regulations and licensing requirements. these managers will ensure the timely processing of all paperwork, ensuring that every application in order. As industry  specialist, these relationship managers will be considerable use to investors, and will be on hand to guide clients through all the processes of setting up their businesses.

Frequently asked questions about Kizad

These FAQs are subject to the terms and conditions of the Companies Registration Regulations, the Business Licensing Regulations, the Employment Regulations and such other regulations as may be applicable to the Abu Dhabi Free Zone from time to time (the Regulations). These FAQs do not amend, modify or supersede the Regulations.

Setting Up Company in Abu Dhabi Free Zone-Kizad

1.            What are the regulations that I should refer to when setting up a company in Abu Dhabi Free Zone?

The main applicable regulations are the following:

a)      Commercial Companies Registration Regulations

b)      Business Licensing Regulations

c)       Employment Regulations

These regulations may be obtained by contacting the Registration and Licensing Department or the Customer Services Department at Kizad.

2.            Can I use any trade name to register my company?

Yes. However, use of name is subject to approval by the Abu Dhabi Department of economic Development. The Kizad OSS (Kizad One Stop Shop) will assist you with the same.

3.            What type of business operations are permitted in the Free Zone Areas?

All types of legitimate business operations are permitted. Please refer to Companies Registration Regulations and the Licensing Categories Decision document published by Abu Dhabi Free Zone.

4.            Can I establish a branch of my own company?

Yes. you can establish a branch or subsidiary of your company based in the UAE or outside the UAE.

5.            Can I be a shareholder in more than one company?

Yes. There are no restrictions at present on the number of businesses in which person can be involved.

6.            What is the minimum capital required for establishing a company in Abu Dhabi Free Zone?

There is no minimum capital requirement if you are setting up a branch of your company in the Abu Dhabi Free Zone. If you are establishing limited (Corporate) or limited (Natural) Company, the minimum capital requirement is AED 150,000. However, depending on the type and size of the operations, the Registrar may request higher minimum amount.

Business Licensing in Kizad

1.            Can I have a business license from Abu Dhabi free Zone but operate/set up anywhere from Abu Dhabi or another Emirate?

The business license issued is valid for operating your business inside the Free Zone Areas of Kizad. You cannot utilize this license to set up a business in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi or any other Emirate.

2.            Can I sell goods manufactured in the Abu Dhabi Free Zone in the UAE?

Goods may be sold in the UAE through agents or distributors who hold valid trade license issued by the relevant government authority e.g, Department of Economic Development.

3.            What are the various categories of Licenses issued by the Abu Dhabi Free Zone?

Three categories of License are issued i.e. Industrial, Trading and Service License.

4.            What are the various activities that are licensed in the Abu Dhabi Free Zone?

Lists of activities for which licenses may be sought in Industrial, Trading and Service categories are published in available from the customer Services Department.

5.            Can I use a trading license to undertake service or industrial activities?

No. Subject to approval by the Abu Dhabi Free Zone, you would be required to obtain separate licenses to undertake service or manufacturing/industrial activities.

6.            Can I use a trading license to undertake assembling of products in my warehouse?

This is subject to approval by Kizad. You would be required to obtain separate industrial license to undertake limited assembling activities inside the warehouse.

7.            Can I first obtain a Business License and then lease plot of land, office or warehouse at a later date?

No. It is a pre-requisite to secure your lease agreement by signing a Confirmation of Lease (CoL) prior to registration of company and licensing of activities in Abu Dhabi Free Zone.

8.            What is the lease rate for the plot of land in the Abu Dhabi Free Zone?

Rate is dependent on various factors. We invite you to meet our Business Development Department for further information or call us on +971 800 10 20 30.

9.            Can I add additional activities to my existing license?

Yes, subject to approval by concerned department within Kizad and payment of applicable fee.

10.          What is the validity period of the license?

The license is valid for a period of one year and renewable every year. Interim amendments/revisions to the current license do not change the validity (end date) of the License.

11.          Are there any corporate taxes imposed when operating in the Abu Dhabi Free Zone?


Project Development and Operating a Business in Abu Dhabi Free Zone

1.            Do I need approval from any government authorities in Emirate of Abu Dhabi?

Depending on the nature of the business/operations you will require approval from various government authorities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Approvals would be required during different phases of the life cycle of your project. Kizad OSS will provide you with full guidance and support to coordinate the relevant approvals  may be required from time to time.

2.            Are there any rules and regulations that I have to comply with?

In addition to the Applicable Laws, you will be required to comply with Kizad Rules and other regulations issued by the Abu Dhabi Free Zone from time to time.

3.            Are there development regulations for iondustrial and warehouse plots in the Abu Dhabi Free Zone?

Yes, Kizad has established Development Control Regulations that addresses relevant requirements.

4.            Does Kizad assist in securing finance  for my business or will Kizad finance my business?


5.            Can I seek financing from the United Arab Emirates?

Companies/Businesses in the Free Zone Areas are not precluded from seeking financing in the UAE.

6.            Who issues my company and my employees with visas?

Kizad OSS will assist all companies, their employees an dependents to obtain visa, entry pass and approvals, as required from time to time subject to Employment Regulations.

7.            How long is my residence visa valid?

Residence visa is valid for a period of 2 years.

8.            Can I import and export goods?

Yes, depending on the business license. No custom duties are imposed if goods are imported and exported within the free zone areas.

9.            Can I obtain Certificate of Origin as “Made in UAE” from the Chamber of Commerce for goods manufactured in the Abu Dhabi Free Zone?

No, companies licensed  by Abu Dhabi Free Zone are treated as Foreign Companies and thus do not qualify to obtain such a Certificate. Companies may label their products or packaging materials with “Made in/Packaged in the Abu Dhabi Free Zone, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.’

10.          How can I obtain the latest tariff list for services?

As and when the tariff list it updated, all companies are informed of the same on their email address registered with Kizad OSS. You may also obtain the latest list of tariff by visiting Kizad OSS.

11.          Can my workers live in factory/warehouse premise?

No. Staff should be accommodated in designated Accommodation units inside Kizad (subject to availability) or accommodated outside Kizad.

12.          How does Kizad OSS assist my business?

Kizad OSS facilitates ease of doing business in Kizad. Kizad OSS will assist your organization to expedite day to day government related transactions including Kizad approvals while you focus on your business. For more information on services provided please contact the Kizad OSS desk or call on the number +971 800 10 20 30.

13.          Can my business in the Abu Dhabi Free Zone own property in the United Arab Emirates?

Depending on the nature of your business, you may be granted ownership rights over your plot in Abu Dhabi Free Zone through a Standard Musataha Agreement.


1.            Who are authorized to clear cargo through customs at Sea Ports in Abu Dhabi or International Airports in Abu Dhabi?

a)      Within the Free Zone, consignees holding Business License issued by the Abu Dhabi Free Zone.

b)      Agents holding an Abu Dhabi Economic Department Clearing g and Forwarding (C&F) license may also clear cargo on behalf of the consignee.

2.            What documents do Abu Dhabi Customs require for imports into the Free Zone?

The following minimum documents are required (please re-confirm with customs department):

  • Bill of Lading
  • Delivery Order
  • Packing List
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Original Invoice
  • Free Zone Bill of Entry

3.            What documents do Abu Dhabi Customs require for exports from the Free Zone?

The following minimum documents are required (Please re-confirm with customs department):

  • Bill of Lading
  • Packing List
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Original Invoice
  • Country Specific additional documents will be required

Employee and Administration

1.            Will I and my employees have a legal Employment contract if employed within the Abu Dhabi Free Zone?

Yes. All employment contracts with companies operating in the Abu Dhabi Free Zone are government by the Employment Regulations enforced by the Abu Dhabi Free Zone.

2.            Can I and my employees bring our family members in the UAE?

Yes, subject to your eligibility as per the Abu Dhabi Free Zone regulations and Emirate of Abu Dhabi/UAE Immigration rules.

3.            Can I and my employees live and travel freely in any Emirate in the UAE?


4.            Can I and the members of my employee’s family work?

Yes. Once they obtain a residence visa they may opt to work in the UAE as per applicable laws and regulations.

5.            Can I open a bank account with any bank in the UAE?

Yes. However, you may check with your employer on the bank they deal with.

6.            Do I and my employees need to pay income tax when employed in the Abu Dhabi Free Zone?


7.            Can I and my employees obtain a driving license or convert existing driving license?

Yes,  you can obtain a driving license in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. A UAE license is issued upon the completion of requited formalities with government authority concerned. The UAE recognizes driving licenses from certain countries. Please check with the Kizad OSS for more information.

8.            Can I and my employees transfer money outside the country freely?

Yes. There are no restrictions imposed by the authorities.

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Deepak is a passionate blogger with interests in bitcoin, online marketing, and writing.

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