Over the past few years, the emirate has established twofour54, a tax-free media zone; and the Abu Dhabi Global Market, a financial free zone to expand the services industry.
In 2019, the government launched Hub71, a US$1.5-billion investment initiative to nurture tech start-ups in collaboration with tech giants such as Microsoft and Softbank Group.
Last year, the government unveiled the AED50-billion Ghadan21, a transformative accelerator programme aimed at promoting innovation, skills upgrade, eco-tourism, and new businesses. The programme launched more than 50 initiatives in its first year alone. And in light of the pandemic, the government fast-tracked 16 initiatives to improve the ease of doing business and reduce the cost of living in the emirate.
These efforts have dovetailed with efforts to boost immigration with the launch of long-term residence visas for highly skilled entrepreneurs and professionals to create a vibrant living and working ecosystem.
Abu Dhabi connections
A spate of infrastructure projects are also under way that are expected to transform the capital’s landscape and serve as the springboard for new initiatives. These include the US$3.3 billion Yas South Development, a mixed-use project featuring entertainment areas, hotels and residences.
The emirate’s US$3 billion Midfield Terminal will expand Abu Dhabi Airport’s capacity to 30 million passengers a year and dovetails with the emirate’s ambition to become an aerospace manufacturing facility, logistics and business hub with vast air connections.