FAQs

Read through our Frequently Asked Questions to find out more details relating to some of the common enquiries received from those interested in ZonesCorp and the services we provide.

If you have any additional questions not featured on this page, please email: info@zonescorp.com with the nature of your enquiry, and somebody will come back to you as soon as possible.

General

Who is ZonesCorp?

Established in 2004 by the Abu Dhabi Government to plan, develop, promote and operate world-class specialized economic zones, ZonesCorp is the largest operator of purpose-built industrial zones in the United Arab Emirates.

ZonesCorp develops and manages world-class, fully integrated industrial cities that contribute almost half of the manufacturing GDP of Abu Dhabi.

What does ZonesCorp offer?

ZonesCorp offers a broad selection of readily available industrial land in several prime locations with fast and efficient connections to transportation networks and uninterrupted supply of utilities (power, water, natural gas, etc.) delivered at globally competitive prices.

Our industrial land is comprised of the following cities:

  • Abu Dhabi Industrial City.
  • Al Ain Industrial City (situated in the Eastern region of the Emirate).
Which sectors does ZonesCorp cater to?

The range of industries ZonesCorp can accommodate spans a broad spectrum of sectors including:

  • Wood & Paper Products
  • Assembling Products
  • Engineering & Metals
  • Chemicals
  • Fiberglass & Plastic Products
  • Food & Beverage
  • Oil & Gas
  • Construction Products
  • Leather & Textile Products

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

What are the other services provided by ZonesCorp?
  • A fully equipped Investor Business Centre to support the end to end requirements of investors during project conceptualization, set up, construction and operation
  • Fast tracking of government approvals and licenses
  • Fast issuance or renewal of visas and work permits
  • Quality, affordable and convenient labour accommodation
How many operational industries are currently located within ZonesCorp’s cities?

Our cities currently host more than 600 manufacturing facilities that include some of the world’s leading industrial entities.

What are the location advantages of being situated in one of ZonesCorp’s zones?

There are several advantages of being located within one of ZonesCorp’s cities, and a member of the Business Development team will be happy to discuss them with you. For example, by being located at Abu Dhabi Industrial City, an investor would benefit from:

  • Connection to all utilities – water, power, telecom and natural gas.
  • Close proximity to three ports within a 60 km radius: Mussafah port (10 km), Mina Zayed Port (30 km) and Khalifa Port (60 km).
  • Close proximity to Abu Dhabi airport (20 km), Oman (140 km) and Saudi Arabia (400 km).
  • Quality, affordable and convenient low income accommodation located within 20 minutes from any industrial plot (depending on the availability).
  • Availability of pre-built warehouses and light industrial units.

ZonesCorp Infrastructure: Transportation, Land, Utilities, Sewage

What infrastructure does ZonesCorp offer?

State of the art fit for purpose infrastructure to suit the entire spectrum of business requirements sought by industrial investors, including multi-lane roads, sufficient corridors for utilities (water, power, telecom, sewage, natural gas), rail (upcoming) and waste management.

What plot sizes are available?

The plots sizes typically range from 4,000 square metres and with the particular size of the plot to be offered varying on the type of industry, location and availability.

A member of the Business Development team will be happy to assist you in identifying the optimum plot and size.

How much does it cost to lease land?

The pricing depends on the location and size of the plot.

Currently in the Abu Dhabi Industrial City the rates range from AED 20 to AED 25 per square metre, and from AED 10 to AED 13 per square metre in Al Ain Industrial City.

In addition to the above both locations are subject to an annual service charge calculated on the basis of AED 3 per square metre.

Is ZonesCorp’s master plan aligned with the upcoming rail way system?

Yes, ZonesCorp’s master plan is aligned with Etihad Rail’s upcoming 1,200 km railway (which will extend across the United Arab Emirates, from the border of Saudi Arabia to the border of Oman).

The rail network is scheduled to connect Abu Dhabi Industrial City to GCC countries and all major ports by the first half of2018. For further information, please visit http://www.etihadrail.ae/en/project/rail-network-map.

What are the warehousing and storage facilities available?

Investors can acquire land from ZonesCorp to build their own warehouses. Alternatively, pre-built units of various sizes can be leased from our investors on a short-term and long term basis.

How can investors receive utility supply?

All ZonesCorp industrial cities are fully connected with power substations, water, telecommunications and sewage networks, with Abu Dhabi Industrial City also having connections to natural gas. Investors can apply directly for their utility requirements to the relevant authorities.

What are the service charges for the different utilities - water, power, gas, sewage?

Cost of the power and water including connections charges will be as per the published rates of Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA).  Current rates are as follows:

Utility

Output

Timings

Cost

ElectricityBelow 1 MW16 Fils/KWH
Over 1 MWPeak (10:00 – 22:00, 1 Jun – 30 Sep)30 Fils/KWH
Off Peak (All other times)16 Fils/KWH
WaterN/AN/AAED 4 per m3
Natural GasN/AN/AAED 5 per MMBTU
Sewage TreatmentN/AN/ANo Charge

 

For the most current rates relating to water and electricity please visit http://rsb.gov.ae/en/sector/new-water-and-electricity-tariffs-structure.

Do you have a natural gas network?

ZonesCorp has an existing network of natural gas connections in the Abu Dhabi Industrial City. Allocation is done depending on the requirements of the customer. Natural gas is however not available in Al Ain Industrial City.

Is industrial process water available?

No, however potable water can be obtained which is available at the low rate specified above.

What are the facilities for treating industrial waste?

Liquid waste can be discharged directly into ZonesCorp’s sewage network after pre-treatment to certain specifications. The Government has approved and qualified service providers for handling solid and hazardous waste. This list can be found on the Centre of Waste Management’s website https://licensing.cwm.ae/en/index.html.

What are the specifications to which the liquid waste needs to be pre-treated before it can be discharged into ZonesCorp’s network?

Please contact us at: bd@zonescorp.com to get a copy of the specifications.

What are the charges for treating and handling the waste?

There are currently no charges imposed for the discharge of liquid waste into the sewage network (so long as it has been pre-treated to the required limits).

For solid and hazardous waste, this is calculated based on the rate of production of waste annually, the type of activity being undertaken, and the organization’s size. For specific details, you can either contact the Centre of Waste Management at info.tariff@nadafa.ae or one of the approved service providers: https://licensing.cwm.ae/en/index.html.

What are the regulations for obtaining electricity connections and usage?

Power connections and related charges are established and applied uniformly by Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) across Abu Dhabi. Currently:

  • For connected load below 5MW, ADDC will provide power at 11kV at their cost (including cables and transformer) to the boundary of the investor’s plot. The investor will only pay for connection charges to the substation.
  • For connected load between 5MW and 15MW (and based on ADDC Agreement), the investor, at his cost, will need to connect the cable from the 11kV substation assigned by ADDC to the plot and install the transformer(s) as specified by ADDC.
  • For demands above 15MW (and based on ADDC agreement), ADDC will provide power at 33kV. The investor, at his own cost, will need to connect the cables from the ADDC designated grid station to the 33/11kV substation inside his plot. In addition, the investor shall also install the 33/11kV substation inside the plot at his own cost.
Is there any restriction on traffic movement within the industrial cities?

No, all traffic can move freely within the cities on a 24/7 basis.

Setting Up

What is the One-Stop Shop (OSS) program and what are its benefits?

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 I apply for land?

Please get in touch with our Business Development team at bd@zonescorp.com who will guide you through the process.

Is there a fee for processing the land application?

There is a non-refundable fee of AED 5,000.

What is the process for obtaining an industrial license?

Once the Pre-Lease Agreement has been entered into, the investor must apply for a Preliminary Industrial License and upon obtaining it will be in a position to enter into a Land Lease Agreement enabling it to undertake the construction of the facility. A Permanent Industrial License needs to be secured upon construction completion of the facility, to enable commencement of production. ZonesCorp will facilitate and support the investor through its OSS service.

How do I apply for a Preliminary Industrial License?

The investor will need to first secure an initial license approval before progressing to the Preliminary Industrial License stage. This can be secured by registering an account and applying online on ZonesCorp’s website: https://eservices.zonescorp.com/ZonesV1/.

What is the difference between preliminary license and permanent license?

Preliminary Industrial License enables an investor to commence construction of the facility while the Permanent Industrial License enables an investor to commence production (after construction completion).

What is the minimum capital required for establishing a limited liability company in ZonesCorp?

AED 250,000.

Is it possible to use industrial land for the establishment of a warehouse?

Yes, warehouses can be established so long as it supports the industrial project.

What are the incentives provided by the Government to the factories within the industrial cities?
  • Duty-free import of equipment and raw materials.
  • Tariff free access to 22 countries across the globe through its network of free trade agreements.
  • Tax free income.
  • Duty-free import of equipment and raw materials.
  • Tariff free access to 22 countries across the globe through its network of free trade agreements.
  • Tax free income.
Is ZonesCorp a free zone?

No, ZonesCorp is not a free zone.

A minimum of 51% UAE shareholding needs to be maintained.

Can GCC nationals open a factory in ZonesCorp?

Yes, GCC nationals can set up a factory with 100% shareholding, however if there is any foreign shareholding, then a 51% UAE shareholder is required.

How long does it take to acquire industrial land?

Upon receipt of a correctly completed Application Form (enclosing all the attachments requested and the application fee), the Application shall be considered internally and presented to management for approval to offer a plot. The plot (if the project is approved) shall be offered within 2 weeks of receipt of the complete application. The investor shall then read the terms of the offer and if accepted must sign and return the offer to ZonesCorp. At this stage ZonesCorp shall issue a Pre-Lease Agreement for the tenant to sign and return together with a Pre-Lease fee (being the fee payable for the reservation). The investor shall then take the steps necessary to obtain the Preliminary Industrial License, and upon receipt shall enter into a Land Lease Agreement with ZonesCorp. It is envisaged that the Land Lease Agreement will be entered into within six months from the date of the Pre-Lease Agreement.

Can land be purchased? If not, what is the maximum lease period?

Land cannot be purchased; it is provided on a 30 years lease which may be renewed at ZonesCorp’s discretion for a further 30 years.

What is the timeframe to become operational after possession of land?

This varies based on the size and complexity of each project, however for a medium sized project, it typically takes approximately 4 to 6 months to commence construction from possession of land, and a further 18 months to complete construction and become operational.

What are the typical parameters for each plot?

This varies depending on the plot; however, on the large majority of plots:

  • a coverage ratio of 70% is applicable.
  • number of floors is G+1.
  • overall height restriction for any structure is 22.5 metres.
  • maximum office space is 5% of built-up area.
Can the Land Lease Agreement be assigned to a financial institution?

Yes.

Can the investor sublease the land to someone else?

No.

What are the procedures for opening a branch of a foreign factory?

A branch of a foreign company can be established so long as the entity has a UAE shareholding of at least 51%.

What are the procedures for opening a branch of a factory which exists in another Emirate?

A branch of the factory can be established in Abu Dhabi, as long as the trade name is registered as an Abu Dhabi branch and it undertakes the same activities as the parent company.

Can the initial license application approval obtained from ZonesCorp be used to open an account in the bank?

No, a bank account in the UAE cannot be opened by the company until a Preliminary Industrial License is obtained.

What are security arrangements within ZonesCorp’s cities?

ZonesCorp is responsible for the overall security of the common areas throughout its cities. Each tenant is however responsible for implementation of security within its respective premises.

At which stage will import duty exemptions on raw material, equipment and machinery apply?

The Preliminary Industrial License can be used to import equipment and raw materials close to the commencement of operations at the premises.

Are there pre-approved consultants / contractors for factory design & construction?

No, investors are free to use any contractors/vendors that are licensed to operate within Abu Dhabi.

Labour

What are the labour regulations in Abu Dhabi?
Do I have to adopt Emiratization in my recruitment?

Though it is not mandatory, it is encouraged.

Can my staff live on my factory premises?

Residential facilities are not permitted on industrial land, however ZonesCorp offers high quality, affordable accommodation (Worker Residential Cities) conveniently located within 10 minutes from any plot.

Does ZonesCorp provide work force accommodation, if yes, what accommodation classes do you have and what are the applicable rates?

The rates referred to above are inclusive of:

  • The provision of furnished living space (cabinet, mattress, blankets, cover sheets / bed cover and pillow).
  • All expenses in respect of the consumption of water, electricity and sewage.
  • Room cleaning.
  • Security services, administration and operation fees.
  • The provision of community services within the city (i.e. gardens, parks, markets, service activities, and recreational places).
What do the rates specified above include?

Cooking, external catering and bringing food from outside for consumption in the rooms are strictly prohibited.

Can you cook (or provide food) in the workers’ accommodation?

Cooking, external catering and bringing food from outside for consumption in the rooms are strictly prohibited.

What is the average cost of unskilled labour in Abu Dhabi?

The cost of unskilled labour ranges between AED 800 – 1200 per month.

Where can I apply for employment visas for my staff?

Employment and residence visas can be processed through our Foreign Labour Services division located in our Abu Dhabi head office. As an added benefit, the refundable security deposit of approximately AED 3,000 per worker (that usually applies for workers on the investor’s visa) is exempt if the relevant employee is located in ZonesCorp’s industrial cities.

What are the visa costs for employees?

The visa costs for employees are set out below:

Category

Salary

Visa cost per employee

Unskilled LabourN/AAED 2,050
SkilledBelow AED 4,000AED 2,450
SkilledAbove AED 4,000AED 2,650
What transportation options are available for the workers to/from the proposed location?

Each company needs to provide transportation for its workers to/from the accommodation/facility, which are located within 10 to 15 minutes from the factory.

Can operations run on a 24/7 basis?

Yes, investors can operate on a 24/7 basis.

Health, Safety and Environment

What are the standards and statutory limits for air pollution, noise pollution, wastewater discharge, etc.

The most current limits can be provided by a member of the Business Development Team upon request.

What are the requirements surrounding the Environment, Health & Safety Management System (EHSMS).

All industries need to register for, and subsequently develop an EHSMS specific to their facility and location, in accordance with the Abu Dhabi EHSMS Regulatory framework. The initial step is to first register for EHSMS after securing their preliminary industrial license. Further details of these can be found on http://www.oshad.ae.

Is there some guidance on the EHS regulatory requirements that are captured at each stage of project development?

Yes, a comprehensive guide on the EHS regulatory requirements at all stages of the project development for both industrial and non-industrial projects are available and can be provided by a member of the Business Development Team upon request.

What are the requirements of the environmental studies that might need to be undertaken based on the Environment Agency’s assessment?

The technical guidance documents that explain the requirements of the various environmental studies, including Preliminary Environmental Reviews, Environmental Impact Assessments and Environmental Management Plans can be found on the Agency’s website: https://www.ead.ae/en/portal/technica.guidelines.aspx.

Is there any approved list of consultants that can undertake environment studies?

Yes, the consultants approved by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi can be found on their website: https://www.ead.ae/en/portal/environmental.consultants.aspx.

Are there any Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for industrial projects?

Yes, SoPs for Industrial projects and those for handling chemicals and hazardous materials can be found on the Agency’s website: https://www.ead.ae/en/portal/standard.operating.procedures.aspx.

What is the process of handling solid waste?

All investors are required to manage their solid waste as per the directives of the Center for Waste Management, Abu Dhabi (CWMAD). Upon securing the permanent industrial license, the entities are required to contract a CWMAD approved Environmental Service Provider (ESP) for safe transport and disposal of their waste to authorized locations. This approved ESP’s list and other directives on waste management can be found at www.cwm.ae.

How to Apply

Register as a Consultant/Contractor

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