Local Business

Masdar Free Zone to Start Operations by June 2009

Filed on April 25, 2009

ABU DHABI - The Masdar City, a tax-free industrial free zone for clean and renewable energy business, will start operations by June 2009, an 
official said.

There has been a positive response from global companies associated with renewable energy, as over 100 firms have shown interest in setting up offices and carrying out research and development in the tax- free zone. Khalid Awad, Director of property development at Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, or Masdar, told Khaleej Times that by the year-end, he expected over 100 licences to be granted to firms to start business in the zone.

Several firms are in the final stage of being selected to start operations as early as June 1, 2009.

The Masdar City is a project of Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, under which the emirate plans to take substantial stakes in clean energy business across the world.

The world’s first clean city project has several elements including a free zone where companies will set up their research and development laboratories and offices to reach out to their clients across the globe. Other elements include a two phase Masdar Institute for Science and Technology or MIST, which will offer graduate and post-graduate programmes.

It also envisages clean tech industries, a solar energy power plant, hotel and office towers. The Masdar City which is the first free zone of Abu Dhabi, has acquired a multi-storey complex, where the new clean energy companies will start their businesses on a temporary basis, until the construction of the Masdar City of ice towers completes, said Khalid Awad. Licences would be granted to companies with impeccable business credentials, as a tough criteria has been laid out to qualify for the firms to do business in the city. Companies who have so far applied for licences have interests in water, energy efficiency, Information Communication Technology, climate change, bio-diversity, recycling, financial and legal, green buildings, sustainable transportation, engineering procurement and construction or EPC, product suppliers, and others.

· haseebhaider@khaleejtimes.com

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