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Abu Dhabi’s construction opportunities

Published on: 9 Oct 2008

The capital city of the UAE has kicked off a multi-billion dollar development plan. Its focus: to concentrate on sustainability and the arts.

How to break into the market

  • Finding a local partner or sponsor is essential to setting up in Abu Dhabi. This can either be an Emirati individual who will take part-ownership of your company or a company that you can do a joint venture with. Or contact Abu Dhabi’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which will help you set up meetings with potential sponsors.
  • Registration with the municipality can be a six-month process, as you must prove that you have the right experience and the appropriate skills and resources to set up shop in Abu Dhabi.
  • In addition to demonstrating the calibre of your organisation, having people from your company living in the country is essential.

Life in Abu Dhabi

  • Abu Dhabi is one of the richest places in the world. Its citizens have a GDP per capita of an astonishing $63,000 (£35,000), the third-highest after Luxembourg and Norway.
  • Expatriate life in Abu Dhabi may be sociable, but it has difficulties.
  • Until much of its new infrastructure and housing is built, the city will continue to burst at the seams with people.
  • This means traffic is at a near-constant gridlock, parking is difficult, and finding a decent place to live – for the time being – is near impossible.
  • Landlords commonly look for a year’s rent to be paid in one instalment.
  • English-language schooling is in extremely short supply. Fortunately, the national developers are coming to the rescue.


For more on working in the region visit Building's Abu Dhabi: The fast show.