Masdar News

Masdar City and Mashreq Bank sign agreement to progress UAE’s SME and start-up ecosystem

10 Mar 2022
Masdar City, Masdar City Freezone, Partnership

• Agreement will give Masdar City-based companies easy-access to NeoBiz, Mashreq Bank’s first digital banking platform dedicated to start-ups and SMEs 

Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s pioneering sustainable urban development and innovation hub, and Mashreq Bank have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to provide financial services to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups based in the City. This will include easy access to NeoBiz, the bank’s first digital banking platform designed specifically for start-ups and SMEs. 

The MoU was signed by Abdulla Balalaa, Executive Director, Masdar City and Vikas Thapar, Executive Vice President, Head of Business Banking & NeoBiz, Mashreq Bank, at an official ceremony this week. 

Abdulla Balalaa said, “Masdar City is currently home to more than 1,000 companies, including a wide range of innovation-focused SMEs and start-ups. Through this strategic collaboration with Mashreq Bank, companies in Masdar City will have direct access to the bank’s cutting-edge suite of specially designed services to facilitate the upscaling of their operations. The City is Abu Dhabi’s only planned and approved R&D cluster, and to businesses, we offer a unique ecosystem of education, R&D, and innovation, that not only allows them to develop and thrive, but also supports Abu Dhabi’s position as a world leading business destination. At Masdar City, we are shaping and incubating the sustainable industries of tomorrow and we look forward to adding Mashreq Bank to our valuable list of partners.”

Vikas Thapar, Mashreq Bank, said, “Our agreement with Masdar City will enable us to increase customer acquisition while also raising awareness for our digital platforms. At Mashreq, we have always channelled our efforts towards customers and digitization, which has resulted in the development of cutting-edge digital banking services and our NeoBiz digital banking platform. Our commitment to fostering the SME ecosystem and efforts to catalyze SME development is what led to the development of NeoBiz and its suite of specially designed services. Through this partnership, Masdar City-based businesses will reap the benefits of NeoBiz, Mashreq Bank’s first startup/SME focused digital banking platform, giving them further opportunity to adapt and grow rapidly.”

Via its Free Zone, Masdar City already offers quick and easy access to a range of vital business services and benefits including, registration, government relations, visa processing, 100% foreign ownership; 0% import tariffs; dual licensing; a rapid set-up process; reduced tax footprint, highly cost-effective licensing and office space, and a pro-business environment, access to R&D partnerships, and the freedom of repatriation of both capital and profits. The City is also home to a range of international organizations, including the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the UAE Space Agency, the regional headquarters of Siemens Energy, G42 Healthcare, the Advanced Technology Research Council, and the world's first university dedicated to artificial intelligence, the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence.