Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is not only the cultural and political center of the country, but also one of the major commercial and industrial areas in the UAE. Abu Dhabi hosts six free zones offering advantageous business environment to foreign investors. MasdarCity Free Zone (MCFZ), a global clean-technology cluster,which specializes in sustainable development and renewable energy, is one of the most prominent free zones in the emirate. The MCFZ provides businesses with a number of benefits, including 0% corporate and personal income taxes, 0% import tariff, permission for 100% foreign ownership, ‘One-Stop Shop’ approach for processing registration of new companies, and modern technology infrastructure.
Permitted legal forms in the MCFZ
The following four types of legal structures are permitted for registration in the MCFZ: (1) free zone limited liability companiesowned bycorporate shareholders; (2) free zone limited liability companies owned by individualshareholders; (3) branches of foreign or offshore companies, and (4) branches of UAE-based companies (including companies established in other UAE free zones).
In order to operate in the MCFZ, a prospective investor is obliged to obtain a valid business license. The MCFZissues licenses for activities in various business sectors, including: (1)business and data centers;(2)clean technology and ICT; (3) community services (retail, food, and beverage outlets); (4)energy industry; (5) healthcare services; (6) human resources development; (7) marketing and events;(8) oil and gas services; (9) property development services; (10) trading and holding companies;(11) renewable energy;and (12) service provision.
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