United Arab Emirates
From its beginnings as a simple village to a hub of investment and innovation, Abu Dhabi has evolved into one of the most exciting destinations in the world.
Behind the modern towers and the stunning beaches of Abu Dhabi lies a rich heritage dating back thousands of years. From early Bedouin settlers to spectacular contemporary attractions, its unique historical journey has shaped the city we know today.
To differentiate itself from the bright spotlight of adjacent Dubai, Abu Dhabi has encouraged a more sophisticated pace, streaming significant investment into its infrastructure and cultural space.
From the outstanding Louvre Museum to the breathtaking Sheikh Zayed Mosque – one of the biggest mosques in the world – Abu Dhabi brings its own touch of tradition to the UAE formula of glowing waterfront, vibrant architecture and desert entertainment.
Despite its modern skyline, Abu Dhabi detains a rich cultural heritage, and its people are proud of their history which is firmly rooted in Arabic traditions.
Beginning as a pearl trading centre, the combined revenues of Abu Dhabi from oil royalties and overseas investments have earned it one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, enabling a series of construction projects and cultural developments.
Consequently, Abu Dhabi has concentrated its efforts on creating prime cultural centres to promote tourism and attract and retain residents. Among these, the city has developed a 10-square-mile island as a cultural and tourism hub with several museums, including a branch of New York City’s Guggenheim Museum.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi has become the centrepiece of the contemporary ambitions of the emirates and undoubtedly sets apart the district of Saadiyat Island. It also initiated future developments such as the Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, forming the largest concentration of renowned cultural institutions.
CITY OF ENTERTAINMENT
Beyond beautiful weather and beaches, Abu Dhabi is synonymous with thrills and excitement.
Day or night, Yas Island lives up to its reputation as the entertainment capital of the UAE. It is best known for the Yas Marina Circuit welcoming the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Each November, the great drivers and their teams compete in one of the most exciting races in the world – and enjoying the thrill of a Formula One car speeding past you is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The island is also home to the famous Yas Marina, the Yas WaterWorld water park and an award-winning championship golf course, Yas Links Abu Dhabi.
But the excitement does not end there. The hotels in Abu Dhabi have some of the liveliest entertainment and dining options. Well-known singers, dancers and comedians offer shows to enchant all audiences, especially during Abu Dhabi Summer Season.
Not only the wealthiest emirate of the UAE but also one of the wealthiest cities in the world, Abu Dhabi experiences today a rapidly growing economy. From January to September 2022, the emirate registered a 10.5% economic growth, which was the highest rate in the Middle East and North Africa. Real GDP exceeded Dh830 billion across this period.
Whilst its economy is primarily based on revenue generated from natural resources, other sectors are slowly emerging. Non-oil sectors (such as property and tourism) contributed 50.3% of the real GDP last year.
The city continues to be the highest contributor to the total GDP of the UAE and keeps providing generous financial support to the smaller emirates in the country.
Our experts say
“Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, offers a lucrative opportunity for international property investors due to its booming demand and limited supply. Likewise, its favourable policies allowing for 100% foreign ownership and low tax rates make it an excellent place to do business and invest.
Abu Dhabi International Airport, ranked the 6th Best Airport in the World in 2022, also presents an ideal gateway to the rest of the world, delivering world-class infrastructure and easy access to major global markets.
And if you are looking for entertainment, Abu Dhabi has it all. It is the proud home to some of the best cultural sites and events, including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit.”
– Robert Pamphlett | Senior Property Consultant
How to get there
Abu Dhabi has a well-planned road network, and getting around is easy. Taxis are reasonably priced and can be flagged down or booked. You can also drive yourself, with excellent infrastructure featuring well-marked roads in English and Arabic. Abu Dhabi is at a reasonable distance from Dubai (80 miles), with an average journey time of one hour.
Unfortunately, there are no train services or direct flights from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. But fortunately, there are plenty of other options available, with the development of public transport, car rentals, taxis, and even helicopters. However, travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in 50 minutes will soon be available, with Etihad Rail expansion. The rail project will connect 11 key cities and regions in the UAE by 2030.
Abu Dhabi is well connected to the rest of the world through its international airport, located 23 miles southeast of the city centre. The fastest and easiest way to get around is by taxi, waiting for you in the arrivals area. Abu Dhabi Airport is also the second-largest in the UAE after Dubai International Airport, only one hour away, and welcomes non-stop passenger flights scheduled to 100 destinations in over 50 countries.
Abu Dhabi sits on a beautiful waterfront – and its cruises and boat tours allow you to make the most of the surrounding Arabian Gulf, departing from a variety of locations, including Saadiyat Island and Yas Island.
Abu Dhabi has a hot desert climate, characterised by pleasantly mild winters and hot sunny summers, with the humidity of the Persian Gulf.
The period from June to September is generally hot and humid, with sunny blue skies and maximum temperatures averaging above 41°C. All year round, but especially in spring, Abu Dhabi may be affected by strong winds, bringing dust and sand storms.
The colder season is from November to March but remains mild and pleasantly warm. This period also sees dense fog on some days and a few rare days of rain. Although January is the coldest month with an 18.8°C average temperature, the climate of Abu Dhabi stays mild and dry throughout the year.
From a desert oasis, Abu Dhabi has become a significant global business hub and the home to vibrant attractions and cultural sites. Today, the city is also the ideal entrance to major markets across the globe, offering exceptional infrastructure and connectivity.
THE UAE CAPITAL
As the UAE capital and largest emirate, by size and GDP contribution, Abu Dhabi is a great place to invest, live and work. With a healthy and stable economy, Abu Dhabi is not only the wealthiest emirate of the UAE – contributing 60% of the total economy of the UAE – but also one of the wealthiest cities in the world.
Abu Dhabi has a flourishing economy that supports long-term sustainable growth.
Investors benefit from zero taxation on rental income, with a real estate market offering a lower purchase price per square meter than any other major city in the world. Rental yield returns range from 2.69% to 8.09% and average at 5.48%.
The residential supply of Abu Dhabi is also relatively tight, especially compared to Dubai. Therefore, its real estate market enjoys booming demand and insufficient supply – a perfect opportunity for lucrative investments. With this, the real estate sector surged 20.3% in 2022 as investors flocked to the city.
As the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi is the leader of an ambitious innovation plan, attracting global technology specialists and entrepreneurs. In 2022, Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) launched a $545 million Innovation Programme that provides support to businesses in high-growth areas, including Financial Services, Tourism, AgTech, ICT and Healthcare & Biopharma, among others.
Abu Dhabi is committed to using innovation and technology to boost its economy and enhance life satisfaction for all residents and tourists.
UNIQUE QUALITY OF LIFE
The well-being of residents and visitors is one of the highest priorities of Abu Dhabi, from a rich cultural calendar to being the world’s safest city for six consecutive years.
The recently launched Abu Dhabi Residents Office (ADRO) serves as a dedicated resource to help its international community grow, develop and thrive. Today, Abu Dhabi is home to top academic institutions, advanced healthcare facilities and world-class events ranging from sports to music and arts.
EASE OF BUSINESS
The dedication of Abu Dhabi to collaboration and quality of life transforms the city into an exceptional business environment, especially for international investors.
Abu Dhabi Real Estate Law was established in 2016 to regularise a number of practices and adopt reforms that meet the pace of innovation whilst further improving its business-friendliness.
Subsequently, in April 2019, the Abu Dhabi Government introduced a new law enabling freehold ownership of property for foreign nationals and presented three new visa types alongside long-term residency visas to facilitate the process.