World number four Nadal has not played since his shock defeat to Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon in June due to a knee injury.
He admitted recently the problem may keep him out of next season's first major in Melbourne in January but he has nevertheless put his name down for the exhibition event from December 27-29 in Abu Dhabi.
Last year's winner Novak Djokovic and US Open champion Andy Murray have also committed to playing.
Scot Murray has not played in Abu Dhabi for three years but is looking forward to returning.
He said: "This season has been great, winning both a grand slam and an Olympic gold medal.
"But I'm hungry for more success and already looking forward to the season ahead, which starts for me in Abu Dhabi.
"I'm in good form at the moment and I want that to continue in the coming months."