Abu Dhabi free zone says licences are part of plan to nurture the region’s first dedicated clean-tech cluster
Abu Dhabi's Masdar City is to introduce new licences to encourage entrepreneurs to set up within the city’s business free zone.
The new licences, which will target the Middle East & North Africa’s clean-tech industry, were launched at the GITEX Technology Week in Dubai.
“Masdar City is nurturing the region’s first dedicated clean-tech cluster anchored by a research institute specialising in advanced energy and sustainable technologies,” said Mohammed Al Fardan, director of the Masdar City Free Zone.
“These additional business benefits will further incentivise local start-ups and encourage more UAE national entrepreneurs to enter the private sector, while at the same supporting the City’s overall mandate to connect education with R&D and business with investment.”
The benefits of the new free zone licences include the waiving of minimum share capital requirements, lower charges to lease single-desk office space known as ‘hot desks’ and direct access to tenant and client networking events at Masdar City.
Masdar City said it aims to grow its tenant base nearly four-fold by 2020, and to increase the net leasable area within its free zone by around a third every year by that time.
Today, more than 400 companies from six continents operate from the City, from start-ups to multinationals including Siemens, Lockheed Martin, GE, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Schneider Electric.
Around 5,000 people work at Masdar City, a figure expected to exceed 15,000 within the next three years.
New office space at Masdar City includes the Accelerator 1 building offering 5,000 square metres of Gross Floor Area that will be handed over early next year.
The Accelerator 1 is part of the R&D cluster making up the second phase of Masdar City’s expansion comprising residential apartments and a premium school within walking distance of the Masdar Institute and around a dozen on-site pilot research projects.
Al Fardan added: “Our latest initiative further strengthens Masdar City’s appeal to future clean energy entrepreneurs, and to the growing cadré of business-minded UAE nationals graduating from the Masdar Institute.”