Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Home to more than 1 billion Dirhams in funds committed to tech start-ups

ADGM is a thriving and highly supportive business hub for start-ups and innovators. Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to grow and rapidly scale their business by gaining access to favourable regulations, a powerful regional economy and a highly skilled talent pool. 

ADGM Tech Start-up Licence

ADGM's dedicated Tech Start-up Licence enables and empowers entrepreneurs allowing them to set up in the UAE at very competitive cost without the need for a physical office. 

With the Tech Start-up Licence, businesses can hit the ground running and take immediate advantage of ADGM’s community of advisors and business partners, its supportive environment and its internationally recognised legal and commercial frameworks.

Tech Start-Up Licence Benefits

  • Full operational commercial licence
  • Highly cost effective annual licence fee of $700
  • An option to obtain up to 4 employee visas
  • Visas are up to 3 years
  • No physical office space requirement*
  • Access to the Entrepreneurship Support Programme
  • Access to local and international experts
  • An independent jurisdiction with an internationally recognised English common law framework

* ADGM virtual office address is required, in order to obtain an ADGM address you have the following options:

  • Use of business centers on Al Maryah Island
  • Use of agent / service providers registered address, click here to browse the Business Directory 

In addition to the above benefits, the licence provides access to our Entrepreneurship Support Programme, developed in partnership with our key local and international partners and aimed at equipping entrepreneurs with the skills and resources needed to succeed and scale their start-ups.

Who can apply?

  • Technology-focused start-ups with the potential to scale regionally*
  • Product/market fit that supports sustainable economic development
  • Tech start-ups aligned with the UAE National Innovation Priority Sectors, click here to learn more about these sectors
  • Local, regional and international start-ups

* The ADGM Tech Start-Up Licence does not apply for Technology service providers

ADGM Entrepreneurship Support Programme

The Programme provides a relevant and comprehensive suite of support services designed to boost entrepreneurs’ potential for success in the region via skills workshops, mentorship and one-on-one advisory sessions. 

Start-ups in all sectors and at all stages can attend events, workshops and clinics as part of their ongoing efforts to enhance skills, sharpen knowledge and increase potential in the MENA region and beyond. Features of the ADGM Entrepreneurship Support Programme include:

  • Expert consultation on scaling up in the region 
  • Help getting started with general contract terms such as non-disclosure agreements, term sheets, MoUs etc 
  • Boosting the value of start-ups through Intellectual Property Rights
  • Keeping pace with global trends: crypto, AI, blockchain, etc
  • Understanding the Fundamentals of Venture Capital Investing
  • Understanding the basics of finance, accounting, governance, and VAT

ADGM provides access to a comprehensive network of government agencies, financial and legal advisers, industry mentors, professional service providers, business advisers and training to ensure that our community members access the right resources to meet their business needs.

ADGM's cost effective Tech Start-up Licence and entrepreneurship support program will help to position your business for success, and our various entities and tools to structure investments and protect value have gained wide recognition among the region's leading investors and founders.

FinTech Start-ups

FinTech start-up with mature and market ready solutions are required to secure ADGM's Financial Services Regulatory Authority's approval to operate in ADGM.  Please visit the FinTech page for more information. 

ADGM FinTech RegLab

Start-ups with FinTech solutions that require further testing and development may apply to join the ADGM RegLab, ADGM's FinTech Regulatory Sandbox, the world's second most active sandbox in the world after London.  FinTech startups that are accepted into ADGM RegLab can develop and test their solution in a safe environment without being subjected to the full suite of regulatory requirements that would otherwise apply to traditional financial services firms.  Please visit the RegLab page for more information. 

Abu Dhabi is an ideal launch pad for start-ups

Innovation strategy

The economic powerhouse of the UAE, Abu Dhabi has a strong and clear innovation and SME strategy.

Multi-billion Dhirham commitment

Abu Dhabi has recently renewed its commitment to supporting innovation, committing substantial capital to supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurial community

The UAE has a thriving community of entrepreneurs with 70 percent of MENA start-ups based in the UAE.

Home to global players

Already a well-established business hub, Abu Dhabi is represented by some of the largest companies in the world, across the breadth of the private sector.

Access to markets

Abu Dhabi is the ideal location to expand your business regionally.

Exceptional standard of living

Abu Dhabi offers an excellent standard of living, with outstanding leisure facilities, health care and schools, providing the ideal environment for you and your employees.

Why choose ADGM as a hub for your start-up
Cost effective
ADGM's Tech Start-up License costs only US$700/year.
Sector agnostic
The ADGM Tech Start-up Licence is sector agnostic and therefore available to for all tech start-up entities.
3 year visa
An option to obtain up to 4 employee visas for up to 3 years.
Broad range of tools
Providing a broad range of international tools to facilitate entrepreneurship finance, adjusted to what the industry knows and trusts.
No office requirement
We provide the flexibility for you to work from anywhere, with no need for an office premises in ADGM.
Entrepreneurship Support Program
Our Entrepreneurship Support Program offers a regular calendar of capacity-building workshops and seminars provided free of charge by our outstanding community of professional advisers.
Full ecosystem
We benefit from a strong network of government and leading industry partners to support the growth and development of start-up business, such as KPMG Digital Village, Plug & Play.
Access to investors
Featuring a growing community of banks, financiers and investors to provide capital for your company's growth.
Rule of law
A strong rule of law through the direct application of English common law, strong judiciary, speed of judgment facilitated by world's first e-Courts, seat of arbitration, and a strong system of enforceability of judgments.
Latest news
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Al Maryah Island
A prestigious address in a prime location
Abu Dhabi
One of the fastest growing, stable markets in the Middle East
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