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Abu Dhabi encourages Indian Start-Ups to set up business


Abu Dhabi is actively seeking investment opportunities from India and is inviting Indian startups to establish hubs in its capital city to expand its business beyond hydrocarbons. This initiative is expected to not only benefit the local economy but also provide a platform for Indian companies to expand globally. The priority sectors for investment opportunities include tourism, agritech, healthcare, pharma, and financial services. Abu Dhabi is looking forward to welcoming Indian enterprises to explore these opportunities and invest in these sectors.

Abdulla Abdul Aziz Alshamsi, the Acting Director General of Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), has emphasized the importance of growing relations between India and the UAE. Alshamsi has pledged to provide Indian companies with all the necessary assistance to explore investment opportunities in Abu Dhabi. He has urged Indian startups to leverage Abu Dhabi’s strategic location to expand their reach globally and contribute to the growth of the local economy. With Indian startups increasingly seeking investment avenues abroad, Abu Dhabi is positioning itself as an attractive destination for innovative enterprises, especially those operating in the priority sectors identified by ADIO.

Abdulla Abdul Aziz Alshamsi, the Acting Director General of Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), highlighted the potential of the agritech sector, especially in light of the dry and arid climate in Abu Dhabi and the Middle East. He emphasized the role of agritech in addressing global food security challenges. Alshamsi also mentioned the recently signed Free Trade Agreement between India and Abu Dhabi, emphasizing its potential for economic collaboration and knowledge sharing, in addition to facilitating the trade of goods and services. India and the UAE have a long-standing history of trade ties, with the bilateral trade valued at USD 72.8 billion in 2021-22, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

The UAE is India’s third largest trading partner, after China and the US. Furthermore, the UAE is the second largest export destination for India, with exports worth almost USD 28 billion in 2021-22, second only to the US. These figures highlight the strong economic relations between the two nations, and the potential for further collaboration and growth in the future.

he UAE’s investment in India is estimated to be around USD 17-18 billion, out of which USD 11.67 billion is in the form of foreign direct investment (FDI), with the rest being portfolio investment. As the 9th largest investor in India in terms of FDI, the UAE has been a key contributor to India’s economic growth. Several Middle Eastern funds, particularly sovereign wealth funds, have already invested heavily in India, attracted by the country’s high returns.

 The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) plays a crucial role in supporting investors and businesses of all sizes to establish and expand their operations in Abu Dhabi, while also promoting the growth of the emirate’s private sector and diversifying its economy. The office is committed to supporting sustainable and long-term investment ideas in Abu Dhabi.

Abdulla Abdul Aziz Alshamsi stated that Abu Dhabi is well-positioned to compete in the global market thanks to its advanced regulations governing access to capital, particularly within the Abu Dhabi global market. As a free zone that permits foreign business ownership and encourages innovative thinking, Abu Dhabi is an attractive destination for venture capitalists, equity funds, and public investment opportunities. These regulations enable Abu Dhabi to maintain its competitive edge in the global market, and ensure that the emirate continues to attract investment and foster economic growth.

Abdulla Abdul Aziz Alshamsi revealed that ‘Fresh to Home’, an Indian company, was one of the first firms to establish a presence in Abu Dhabi, with a focus on research and development as well as accessing the US market. Alshamsi described this move as mutually beneficial, and noted that it has helped Abu Dhabi to attract additional companies to the region. 

Additionally, he noted that ‘Stride Ventures’, an Indian venture capital fund, is also active in Abu Dhabi. Alshamsi also highlighted the availability of a talented workforce in Abu Dhabi, and stated that the emirate is taking steps to make it easier for international talent to establish themselves and retire in Abu Dhabi.

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