Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones (ZonesCorp)

This Abu Dhabi free zone is home to over 600 of the world’s biggest and most well-known global companies from many sectors. The Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones (ZonesCorp) was established in 2004 to develop industrial cities which are located throughout Abu Dhabi. ZonesCorp has developed 6 first-class industrial zones that now account for half of Abu Dhabi’s manufacturing GDP. The free zone has attracted considerable foreign direct investment and has been a huge helping hand in developing the industrial landscape of the Emirate. A visionary leadership, attractive incentives from the government, state-of-art infrastructure and a pro-business environment make ZonesCorp a favourable place for investors to choose this location for company formation. The Abu Dhabi ZonesCorp is at present a hub for a number of training centres and therefore the companies registering here are assured to get skilled trained staff and team members.

Types of Entities Allowed in ZonesCorp

Before getting into the types of entities one can form in ZonesCorp, Abu Dhabi, it is important to know that unlike other free zones of Abu Dhabi, this free zone offers only one type of license, i.e., Industrial License. There are many kinds of entities one can start in ZonesCorp:

Benefits of Setting up a Business in ZonesCorp

Like any other free zone, ZonesCorp also provides many benefits to its investors. They are:

  • Full repatriation of profits and capital
  • 0% tax
  • Duty-free import of raw materials and machinery
  • A favourable business environment
  • Operational synergies from the co-location of similar industries
  • Hassle-free labour procedures
  • The sound investment advice provided to clients
  • Proximity to Abu Dhabi Airport and Jebel Ali Airport
  • Cluster-based zoning model allowing full integration within the industry value chain, deriving synergy benefits

Business Activities Allowed under ZonesCorp

It is essential to be aware of the business activities allowed at ZonesCorp. The list of activities accommodated at ZonesCorp is as follows:

  • Chemicals
  • Food and beverage
  • Oil and gas
  • Leather and textile products
  • Construction materials
  • Engineering and metals
  • Assembling products
  • Wood and paper products
  • Fibreglass and plastic products

Industries falling in other sectors may be considered following an assessment from an economic, environmental and synergy perspective at the application stage

List of Zones in ZonesCorp Abu Dhabi


  • This zone is ideal for heavy to medium manufacturing, processing, and engineering activities
  • The total area covered is 14 sq. km
  • It is located close to Musafah Sea Port, Abu Dhabi International Airport and Abu Dhabi City Center
  • The investment volume is over AED 6 billion
  • The infrastructure and warehouses built are according to international standards
  • Government departments are located together for swift and simple business setup


  • This zone is ideal for medium to light manufacturing, processing, and engineering activities
  • The total area covered is 11 sq. km
  • The investment volume is over AED 11 billion
  • There is a road network of 27 km, and 21 km of gas piping, 21 km of drainage and 60 km of rainwater piping


  • This zone is ideal for oil and gas industries, construction materials, wood and engineering
  • The total area covered is 12 sq. km
  • The infrastructures and warehouses have been built according to international standards

4. Al Ain Industrial City- AAIC (I and II)

  • Located on the eastern borders of the UAE
  • The cost of infrastructure is 125 million
  • The total area covered is 10 sq. km
  • It is connected with Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah with a network of modern highways

5. ICAD IV (to be constructed)

  • Located on the west side of Mussafah Industrial City
  • It will cover a total area of 24 sq. km
  • The zone is dedicated to technology and light industries
  • The zone will be specifically consigned to the Logistics Hub Support Services area and linked to the upcoming freight railway network

6. ICAD V (to be constructed)

  • Dedicated to the automobile industry, it will cater to Abu Dhabi’s automotive value chain, creating the ideal one-stop-shop destination for auto-related products and services
  • It will cover a total area of 11 sq. km
  • The cluster aims to help resolve the Emirate’s parking congestion by providing an alternative hub for taxis, buses, used cars and rental cars parked and displayed in the city centre

7. Construction and Building Material Zone (to be constructed)

  • Located in Al Faya
  • The total area covered will be 34 sq. km
  • For construction and building industries

How to Set Up a Business in Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones?

The process for setting up a business in Abu Dhabi free zones is quite simple. In order to start a business in Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones, one has to obtain a relevant license. To get the license, one has to start with filling the application form either online or by visiting the ZonesCorp office. The remainder of the process is done by the ZonesCorp authorities, which is as follows:

  1. Forwarding the application to the relevant department
  2. Reserving the land and preparing the lease contract
  3. Obtaining approval from the Environment Department
  4. Arranging for a construction permit and issuing a preliminary approval
  5. Issuing the industrial license

Now, to get this process done, you will have to submit the necessary documents after you give the application form. They are as follows.

Documents Required to Set Up a Business in ZonesCorp

  • Authorized company contract
  • Document of contract modification registration in the Ministry of Economy
  • Environment license
  • A factory site plan indicating manufacturing and services areas
  • Feasibility study
  • Land plan
  • Membership certificate in the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Passport copies of the partners
  • Power of attorney (if available)
  • Valid and approved trade name
  • Valid lease contract
  • The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) technical information
  • Additional information for environment authority

Why Set Up a Business in ZonesCorp?

Abu Dhabi today is the manifestation of a vision both ambitious and grand. The point of strength of Abu Dhabi and its free zones lies in its divorce from dependence on oil as a primary source of national income. For last 14 years, this free zone has been standing the test of time and improving to help the economy of Abu Dhabi even more. A few advantages offered by ZonesCorp are:

1. World-class Infrastructure

This free zone is shaped well to meet all the requirements of its clients. The amount of investment ZonesCorp puts into its project shows the amount of authenticity and will to build innovation.

2. Excellent Business Environment

Not just the environment, the authorities are ever ready to help its investors in building their businesses.

3. Strategic Location

The proximity to port and airport helps a businessman in easy import and export, which makes the location of ZonesCorp highly favourable.

One-Stop-Shop (OSS) Program

The One-Stop-Shop (OSS) program of ZonesCorp aims to provide all required services such as industrial land acquisition, and other related procedures and services from one single point of contact.

How can we help?

Setting up a business in Abu Dhabi, and especially ZonesCorp, can be an overwhelming process for the uninitiated, but a business consultant can make this process easier, smooth, and stress-free. We at Commitbiz aim to simplify the ZonesCorp business license and business registration process for entrepreneurs seeking to start a business in Abu Dhabi in an efficient and effective way. Our expert team, having specialized experience in executing the legal processes and completing documentation, is fully dedicated to helping in your business setup process at every step. Contact us today, even it’s for friendly advice.