Masdar News

Free Zone encouraging entrepreneurship and Abu Dhabi private sector growth

06 Apr 2016 Press Release

Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments, is widely associated with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, the world’s first graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies.

With the successful evolution of its business Free Zone and Investment Zone, the development is also increasingly associated with Abu Dhabi’s emerging private sector and diversifying economy.

As part of its expansion plan, Masdar City aims to grow its tenant base nearly four-fold by 2020, and to expand the net leasable area available within the Free Zone by around a third (32%) every year over the next four years.

“Masdar City’s transparent and business friendly regulations, strategic location next to Abu Dhabi International Airport, and unique positioning as an ‘innovation ecosystem’ providing access to education, R&D, clean technology and human capital are an attractive proposition to both public and private sector organisations looking to set up in Abu Dhabi and the region,” said Ahmed Baghoum, Director of Masdar Free Zone.

“Masdar City is today a livable city supported by its own mixed-use community, an additional incentive for businesses entering or expanding their presence in the Middle East & North Africa.”

Around 35% of Masdar City’s planned built-up area will be completed within the next five years, and all existing buildings and those under construction are fully leased. New office real estate in the pipeline will address the market demand for space.

Offering 16,634 sqm of Gross Floor Area (GFA), a six-floor multi-tenant office block will be delivered by the end of next year within the existing first phase of the development by UAE-based Tristar Real Estate.

The Accelerator 1 building, being built by Masdar as part of the dedicated R&D cluster planned for phase two, is due for completion by the second quarter of 2017.

With nearly 5,000 sqm of GFA, the Accelerator 1 will offer comprehensive ICT infrastructure and ‘smart office’ connectivity, plus the Free Zone’s administrative support in setting up a new business swiftly and efficiently.

The Accelerator 1 will also achieve a ‘3 Pearl’ rating under the Abu Dhabi Planning Council’s green building standards framework, Estidama, and realise 85% space efficiency.

New tenants will join multinationals such as Siemens, General Electric, Lockheed Martin and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, as well as SMEs and startup enterprises.

Masdar City also hosts the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the first international government organisation to have its headquarters in the Middle East.

Masdar City’s Free Zone benefits include 100% foreign ownership, exemption from corporate and personal income taxes, and 0% import tariffs, as well as access to R&D partnerships through Masdar Institute and the demonstration projects active across the City.

The Free Zone also offers a ‘One-Stop Shop’ service to streamline handling administrative tasks such as government registrations and visa processing.

Besides leasing ready-made offices, tenants can develop their own commercial and residential projects through the Investment Zone, or more bespoke developments showcasing a particularly high standard of environmental performance, on a long-term lease.

“As both a Free Zone and Investment Zone, Masdar City offers both flexibility and scalability to prospective tenants and investors, catering to micro businesses and large-scale corporations alike,” added Ahmed Baghoum of Masdar Free Zone. “This competitive mix reflects the needs of the market and supports Abu Dhabi’s ongoing efforts to promote economic diversification.”

Masdar City’s Free Zone and Investment Zone will be showcased at Cityscape Abu Dhabi, the real estate exhibition and conference taking place from April 12-14.

Masdar Staff