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Report | The Report: Abu Dhabi 2016

Thanks to business-friendly government policies implemented over the past 10 years Abu Dhabi is now home to a rapidly diversifying economy that is among the largest in the region, with GDP reaching a total of Dh952.68bn ($259.32bn) at current prices in 2014.

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Chapter | Legal Framework from The Report: Abu Dhabi 2016

This chapter contains an overview of the legal framework in which local and foreign investors operate including guidance for firms doing business in the emirate, advice for the establishment of a joint stock company and a rundown of the incentives provided by the emirate’s free zones.

Chapter | Tax from The Report: Abu Dhabi 2016

This chapter contains an overview of the tax framework in which local and foreign investors operate including an outline of the business and tax incentives offered by the free zones and a rundown of the Wages Protection System. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Dean Kern, Middle East Tax and Legal Services Leader, PwC.

Chapter | Media & Advertising from The Report: Abu Dhabi 2016

The media industry in Abu Dhabi has witnessed a surge in investment recently as sector infrastructure is developed to support the expansion of local production and content creation. By early 2015 direct spending on television and film production was expected to contribute $108.9m to the UAE’s economy over the next five years while the Media Zone Authority is looking to expand the breadth of services and networks it offers, including costume design, hair stylists, makeup artists, camera operators and post-production facilities. Meanwhile, e-commerce presents a significant range of new opportunities, with the segment expected to see growth of 40% by 2020 in GCC states, and with sales likely to reach $41.5bn. This chapter contains an interview with Noura Al Kaabi, Chairwoman, Media Zone, Authority–Abu Dhabi and twofour54.

Chapter | Agriculture & Food from The Report: Abu Dhabi 2016

The authorities in Abu Dhabi are seeking to develop the local agriculture and food-processing sector as part of wider efforts to improve food security and diversify the economy, with the emirate now emerging as an important regional food-processing center. Dates are Abu Dhabi’s most important crop and largest agricultural export by value, while there were 31 commercial livestock farms operating in Abu Dhabi in 2014, up from 26 a year before. Meanwhile, consumption of local produce grew at a compound annual growth rate of 28.4% between 2010 and 2013 in terms of volume, compared to 7.9% for the market as a whole.

Chapter | Environment from The Report: Abu Dhabi 2016

The federal government’s recent efforts to reduce the nation’s environmental impact have started to bear fruit. A three-year plan was announced in late 2014 for reusing 100% of recycled water. Currently Abu Dhabi treats all 800,000 cu metres of the wastewater generated daily, of which 60% is reused while 40% returns to sea. Meanwhile in early 2015 legal moves were made to endorse the expansion of the emirate’s protected areas, oversight of which falls under the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi. Elsewhere a 25-year recycling plan will break Abu Dhabi into zones, with recycling centres being developed according to the types of waste generated in those particular areas. This chapter includes an interview with Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary-General, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD).

Chapter | ICT from The Report: Abu Dhabi 2016

Abu Dhabi’s smart government initiative is a driving force behind growth in infrastructure and technology and, not insignificantly, on public take-up of smart technology for engaging with governance and other civic activities. Underscoring the advancements in Abu Dhabi’s ICT evolution, the country is on course to become the world’s first with nationwide 5G coverage, the roll-out of which should take place ahead of the Expo 2020 in Dubai. Meanwhile, revenues for the telecoms sector at the national level reached $8.9bn in 2014, a 12% rise over the $7.9bn in 2013. From the total, mobile services accounted for $6.9bn. Competition between the two state-backed operators, Etisalat and du, is strong and frequently leads to rigorous marketing campaigns, infrastructure development, bundle offerings and technological innovation. This chapter contains interviews with Rashed Al Mansoori, Director-General, Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC); and Saeed Al Ghafli, Director-General, Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA).