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Abu Dhabi Seeks Investment as it Launches Dh600m Fund

The United Arab Emirates is seeking to attract more investors to the Emirates’ second-most populous city, after Dubai, and the capital of the federation. The new Dh600 million fund has been earmarked for attracting new investment from the worlds of entertainment and business. It is just one part of a much wider strategy that is seeking to boost investment in one of the more stable parts of the Middle East.

Land of Luxury

Abu Dhabi’s modern skyline is decorated with glistening skyscrapers. Residents, the vast majority of whom are not native Emiratis but expats from neighbouring countries, relax at some of the region’s most extravagant and luxurious shopping malls. This is a city of fast cars, extravagant spending and, as anyone who has visited neighbouring Dubai will know, a desire to put a luxurious facade on even the most mundane of things.

But it is this that gives the region its character, and what makes it an attractive investment target for investors across the board. Tourism in the UAE is forever booming, but the economy is still heavily reliant on oil exports. Like other nations in the gulf region, the UAE has seen the writing on the wall - oil is on the way out and renewables are on the way in.

This new fund is part of a broader effort to diversify the economy and increase economic growth. It is hoped that it will also help to push the Emirates tourist market even higher.

Should I Invest?

Investors in the UK are increasingly turning to the middle east as an investment destination. While some areas of the region are unstable, places like the Emirates have always managed to maintain a largely peaceful existence. Stability and sustained economic growth make investing in the UAE a very attractive proposition.

But is it like investing in the UK? Setting aside cultural differences briefly, consider the costs involved. For example, electricity in Abu Dhabi costs roughly the same per unit as the UK for residential purposes. But if you compare business electricity prices using a price comparison tool, it will give you UK prices, and you will find that Abu Dhabi offers lower rates.

This is because the electricity utilities in Abu Dhabi are nationalised - in the UK, there are different suppliers you can choose from, but in Abu Dhabi, it’s all provided by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority. The government’s eagerness for investment has seen it offering numerous incentives to foreign investors; discount rates on utilities are part of many of these packages.

Get a Guide

In order to accurately cost investment plans, and to ensure that you adhere to the local culture and customs, you should hire an advisor who is a specialist in the UAE, and Abu Dhabi in particular if possible.

Doing business in a completely different culture to the one you are used to requires a thoughtful approach, so you shouldn’t go leaping into the unknown if you can avoid it.

Abu Dhabi is seeking to boost its tourism income, perhaps jealous of performance over in Dubai. The capital city has always been a solid investment destination, but this large fund is just a small part of a DH50bn fund that is seeking to stimulate the local economy. With a government eager for investors and top talent, and plenty of cash to go around, this is a good time to invest.

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