By Andy Sambidge
Wrightbus International says it will use new Abu Dhabi base to respond to region's growing need for clean transportation
Wrightbus International, the company behind the iconic London double-decker buses, said on Tuesday it has opened its Middle East headquarters in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.
A global leader in hybrid and electric public transport and urban mobility, the company said it will look to leverage its strategic base at Masdar City to respond to the region's growing need for innovative, efficient and clean transportation.
Wrightbus International, the overseas arm of the Wright Group, joins some of the world's leading technology companies in establishing a presence in Masdar City's clean tech cluster.
Siemens, Schneider Electric, General Electric and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are among more than 130 companies registered within Masdar City's dual investment and free zone.
Wrightbus International added that it will launch a regional demonstration programme of the environmentally friendly Streetlite Bus, which offers unsurpassed levels of fuel efficiency in the "midi-bus" market segment.
"We are delighted to welcome Wrightbus International to Masdar City," said Anthony Mallows, director of Masdar City. "Wrightbus International brings decades of experience and a commitment to innovation and technology that compliments the vision of Masdar City.
"With advancements in hybrid, low-carbon urban mobility driving the urban sustainability agenda, the role of public transport will become ever more important, not just in Abu Dhabi but across the region and the world."
Commenting on the launch, Paul Fox, Charge d'affairs, British Embassy Abu Dhabi said: "I am delighted to see this outstanding UK business extending its international reach with a new base in Abu Dhabi. Wrightbus International manufactures 21st century buses, at the cutting edge of technology and innovation and I am certain their products will support the aspirations of Abu Dhabi and many others in the region for developing world class bus fleets."
The Wrightbus International office will be led by Middle East Director, Paul Brannigan who said: "Masdar City and Wrightbus International share core principles of a commitment to smart technology and product innovation in the field of low carbon transportation.
"As the region's only clean technology cluster, we are confident Wrightbus International will flourish in this special economic zone."
In 2009, Wrightbus, the UK division of the Wright Group, was commissioned by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to build a cleaner more efficient, 21st century version of the Routemaster - London's iconic red double-decker bus.
The "Boris Bus," as it has been nicknamed, began service in 2012 and 600 of the low emission hybrid buses have been ordered.
Damian McGarry, managing director of Wrightbus International, said: "There is a fundamental shift to public transportation throughout the Middle East and we see this is a long term trend as people increasingly value the ability to travel without a car. As the region works towards is sustainability ambitions, the benefits of cleaner, more efficient public forms of transport will become more and more important."