FAQ on business setup in Abu Dhabi
There is no licence fee to set up your business at twofour54, as the licence fees to set up a new company in Abu Dhabi have been waived by the Media Zone Authority for the first two years* (MZA).
Yes, you will need to pay some other fees, including:
|1||GM pre-approval||AED 525|
|2||PO Box||AED 1,312.50|
Immigration registration fee: AED 755 (every three years)
Online registration in immigration system: AED 2,080
|4||Visa fees (excluding VAT)||
About AED 4,140 per person, excluding health insurance.
The health insurance amount depends on cover, age and gender.
|5||Office annual rent (subject to availability)||Depends on the type and space of the office, which can be discussed with your business development manager.|
Yes, we have a full range of offices available for every type and size of media business.
No, if you are registered with the MZA, you must be located inside the media zone.
Yes, all employees must have visas issued by the MZA.
Yes, every company registered under the MZA has to have a registered MZA PO Box.
Yes. As long as you can provide all the required information, you can set up a company from wherever you are located.
The process only takes a few days if all the information is provided.
There is no minimum share capital requirement.
No, the company bank account must be opened before the licence is issued.
Yes, subject to approval.
No, you can choose any UAE bank.
Yes, subject to availability and approval.
No, only the general manager and the employees have to reside in the UAE.
Yes, if you have the correct DED licence. Ask us for more information concerning this.
Yes, once your company is incorporated under the Media Zone Authority.
A “Sole Proprietor License” is a license from the Media Zone Authority– Abu Dhabi (MZA), which allows you as an individual to work in your personal capacity from the Media Zone (twofour54) as a media professional. The Sole Proprietor License will specify the activities the freelancer may carry out from the Media Zone. As a twofour54 freelancer, you are required to obtain a Sole Proprietor License and residency visa.
Yes, all non-GCC national licensed freelancers must be sponsored for an employment and residence visa by the Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi, regardless of whether they have been sponsored elsewhere in the United Arab Emirates.
We provide freelance license in more than 60 media-related categories, from pre-production, production and post-production, to PR, marketing and creative design. You can apply for up to three categories at no additional cost provided that you have sufficient references for such categories.
A letter of intent is a letter from a twofour54 partner stating that they intend to work with you on a particular project(s) now or in the future. However, it is not a formal employment commitment.
You can submit a business plan outlining, for example, how you intend to operate within twofour54, which partners you will be approaching for work and why your skill set will add to our community. Please connect with our freelance relations team for further information.
We have a dedicated customer care team who can assist you in family & help sponsorship requirements.
You will be required to have a valid work contract for at least 3 months with a minimum salary requirement as per immigration regulations.
Yes, to fulfil the requirements of your residency visa, you will need a health insurance policy approved by the Department of Health—Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Immigration. Our partner for health insurance, Daman, provides a number of policies to suit different requirements. Please inquire with our customer care to request the freelancer health insurance options.
The cost will vary according to the specific policy, your age and gender. twofour54 will add a service charge of 210 AED.
Please inquire with our customer care team to request the freelancer health insurance options.
The twofour54 freelance licence permits you to work from within the twofour54 Media Zone with our licensed companies and from the hot-desk offices on campus. When you are not working at twofour54, you can work from overseas.
You can open a personal bank account. We have a dedicated customer care team to help you with this. You may need to submit a contract or proof of upcoming work for at least three months, as well as other supporting documents, as required by the bank.
With more than 600 licensed businesses and partners, there are many exciting opportunities for freelancers to take part in, like networking, workshops and our Connect series of events. We will connect you with as many potential clients as possible by showcasing your portfolio, talking to contacts and identifying opportunities, however, we cannot guarantee any positions.
The only costs that you will incur are the health insurance cancellation fee and the visa cancellation fees.
Yes, you may reside anywhere in the UAE.
FAQs on business support services
- Government liasion services, such as No Objection Certificates and vehicle services
- Visa services, like employment visa, visas for dependents and visit visas
- Travel services, like tourist visas, holiday packages and cargo transportation
- Support services, such as IT, conference bookings and office cleaning
Yes, if you are a twofour54 partner, you will have online access to do so.
You can pay via a credit or debit card, cash, bank transfer or cheque.
From 09:00 to 17:00, Sunday to Thursday.
No, we can only deal with health insurance for our partners and their dependents.
The team helps clients with the full range of production requirements, providing infrastructure and facilities as needed.
Production services include:
- Location filming in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Liwa
- Production planning
- Location scouting
- Equipment rentals
- Set construction
- Production office rentals
- Accommodation, travel and transport*
- Accounting and legal
- Storage and shipping*
*These services are provided through Business Services
- 16-seat 4K screening room
- FCP, Adobe and AVID editing platform
- Online and finishing suites
- Baselight with Truelight colour management colour grading suite
- DaVinci colour grading suite
- Doremi Cine Assets for digital cinema package creation
- Pro-Tools audio suites
- Audio booth
- Provide LTO-6 storage for a long-term digital archive
- Reliable file transfer using Signiant Media Shuttle, with 40Mbps upload/download capability
You can film indoors at Studio B, which has seven TV studios that range in size from 60 sq.m to 650 sq.m.
- Is 4K and HDR-ready
- Is an HD, tapeless environment
- Is fully soundproofed
- Includes saturation lighting rig
- Includes one green room
- Includes two make-up rooms—male/female, with private restroom and shower
Our studios are also ready-fitted with broadcast connectivity:
- International connectivity through du and Etisalat
- Fibre connectivity from Mussafah to Khalifa Campus
- Teleport with access to Arabsat and Yahlive
In Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Liwa, you will need a permit for filming in locations not owned by twofour54. Our Business SupportServices team can help you obtain the necessary permits.
You can film outdoors at KIZAD, our 7,000 sq.m backlot, based in Khalifa Industrial Zone in Abu Dhabi.
The backlot includes facilities such as costume, make-up and dressing rooms, a large canteen and purpose-built production offices. It complements Abu Dhabi’s diverse locations that provide quick and easy access to a variety of landscapes.
Ask your production manager/coordinator for more information on costs.
You may also be eligible for a 30% cash-back rebate on productions including:
- Feature films
- Episodic (drama/comedy)
Moreover, on post-production services such as:
- Digital content services
- Visual effects (PDV) services for projects shot inside or outside Abu Dhabi
Refer to the ADFC website for more information.
You are required to:
- Submit the full script in Arabic and English
- Highlight scenes to be shot in Abu Dhabi
- Complete the application form
- Submit the form to your assigned twofour54 production manager
It should then take 15–20 days for your approval application to be processed.
Every project is unique. Some videos require an immediate turnaround on location, so delivery time is a matter of hours. For larger-scale productions, the process can take several weeks, depending on the size and complexity of the project.
Every kind of video is made here! The sky is the limit. Here are just a few types of video that are created at twofour54:
- Branded content video productions
- Promotional videos
- Feature films
- Event videos
- Music videos
Our goal is to create the best video possible at a budget that is comfortable for you. Every project is unique, and so pricing is unique. Specific videos have minimal needs, while others require more post-production resources, which can result in a higher budget. From the very beginning, our experts will work with you to provide a tailored, itemised quote to help you understand the associated costs of producing your video.
You can register to become a member of Creative Lab through the website. By becoming a member, you can book the three work suites in #thelab online, free of charge:
- an edit lab for video and photo editing
- a sound lab for audio recording and editing
- an ideas lab for meetings and brainstorm sessions
You will also be added to Creative Lab’s mailing list, so you’ll always know when we have upcoming events, opportunities, and workshops. By creating a portfolio on the Creative Lab website, the Creative Lab team and any visitor to our website can approach or recommend you for short or long-term industry opportunities, such as videography, event coverage, and graphic design.
Since not all our Creative Lab members are based in the UAE, please send us an email at email@example.com to request an access card. We’ll let you know when it is ready for collection.
We aim to confirm requests within 48 hours of receiving them. If you don’t hear back from us within 48 hours, please assume your booking has been accepted.
As long as your event caters for young people, or is accessible to them, and is free of charge or non-commercial, you can book the space by emailing the following details to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Number of attendees, their names, and their emails
- Seating arrangements
- Additional requirements (e.g. projector, microphones)
- The poster you will use to promote the event
To take film or pictures on #thelab, please send the following details to email@example.com:
- List of the crew members’ names
- The photo/film shoot content
- The intended channels for this content (e.g. social media, TV)
- List of equipment you will be using
- Dates and timings of photo/film shoot
We also ask that you ensure twofour54 Creative Lab branding does not appear in your shots and that you send us your final content for approval.
We provide workshops on a wide range of different media topics, such as filmmaking. We promote the workshops through the following channels:
Follow us on social media to stay updated with upcoming events and opportunities—Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter: @creativelabme
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that we do not offer to fund, but we can support you with:
- Access to #thelab’s three work suites to develop your project
- Connecting you to community members in the same field
- Giving you feedback on your work
Connecting you to other organisations that may be able to offer financial support
internships at twofour54
If you are an undergraduate student or a fresh graduate, you can visit our internships website and apply directly online. All our internships are full-time and non-paid. You will also find more information on our application process and internship cycles on the internships website.
If you are a high school student, your counsellor/school administrator should contact us directly at email@example.com.
If you fulfil the following criteria, you can email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “intern on a twofour54 production”:
- You are based in the UAE
- You are able to commit to the production full-time—keeping in mind these opportunities are unpaid and we do not provide transportation or accommodation
- You are willing to work long hours, including on weekends, and stay overnight for some shooting days (if applicable)
- You have experience in production or a relevant field (for example, photography, theatre, journalism, events)
- You are passionate about filmmaking, energetic, dedicated, and willing to take the initiative
For undergraduate students or fresh graduates, we have three internship cycles: Spring (January-March), Summer (May-July), and Fall (August-October). You can apply for an internship two months before the start of the next cycle on our internships website.
High-school students are usually placed with our internal departments for 1–2 weeks during the school breaks, for example summer holidays.
For production internships, our productions are ongoing throughout the year. There is no set timing for internships as it depends on production dates.
twofour54’s summer camp
Our programme is aimed at children aged 9–12. They should be Arabic speakers, as our sessions are delivered in both English and Arabic.
It is a two-week camp about media, entertainment, and essential life skills. The programme consists of lectures, demonstrations, hands-on workshops, and interactive sessions held at twofour54 premises.