Abu Dhabi's Masdar Free Zone has attracted over 300 clean tech businesses, who are using it as their base to reach out customers within the UAE and in the region.
Part of Masdar City, one of the world's most sustainable low-carbon cities, the zone offers 100 per cent ownership and total exemption from corporate and personal income tax, duty free import, freedom of repatriation of both capital and profits. It offers cost-effective licensing and quick, easy setup, competitive pricing and low running costs due to buildings' energy efficiency.
Drawing on its strong global logistics and transport network, the Masdar Free Zone offers businesses a One-Stop shop for setting up locally, including company registration, office leasing and fast-track visa processing, in a safe, friendly and aesthetically pleasing working environment.
The Zone provides small, medium and large enterprises an unparalleled opportunity to take advantage of Masdar City's state-of-the-art technology infrastructure, unmatched environment, world-class facilities, and liberal investment regulations.
Many of the firms, who have setup offices in the zone, provide solutions and services in key sectors such as renewable energy, clean tech, engineering and technology.
They include leading global companies such as Siemens, GE, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Lockheed Martin who are taking advantage of its full ecosystem for innovation integrating knowledge, research and development.
According to Ahmed Baghoum, director of the Masdar Free Zone, the
Zone is moving forwards to achieve its vision for being the regional and global launch pad for new and innovative ideas and entrepreneurships, helping push further the boundaries of innovation in various sectors.
One of the refinements at the Masdar Free Zone is the streamlined approach to registering businesses at its One-Stop shop offering best-in-class service for companies, allowing them to obtain a license to start operations and employment visas just in few days.
"We have been very successful in attracting businesses to the Masdar Free Zone, and expect a further demand as awareness in the region of renewable technology and sustainable development is rapidly growing," Baghoum added.
UK's Solapak Limited, the specialised leader in engineering and supply of completely ready to install solar power systems for industrial off-grid applications, has experienced tremendous growth since opening its office two year ago.
Haitham Ghawanmeh, marketing manager at Solapak Limited, said that the company's forecasts and market research show a potential for growth of 70-80 per cent per annum in the coming years.
Handasa, is an Emirati company that has seen a rapidly-growing business in Masdar Free Zone, benefiting from the unrivalled advantages of being located in one of the world's most advanced and specialised cities. Established by young Emirati engineers motivated to serve society's needs in the fields of education and engineering, Handasa introduces smart and innovative learning tools for the education in the UAE. It also engineers advanced energy generation systems and water conservation solutions that are specially customised for the UAE and the region in general.
Starting as a small-desk company in June 2014 to expand into a full-fledged office employing four people with plans to grow to ten employees over the next year, according to Ali Altaee, the CEO of Handasa.
With regards to future plans, Altaee said that the company plans to launch version 2 of its Zayed Project, a smart solution with a new concept of irrigating the desert forests.
"We are piloting a new innovative irrigation system for farms which is powered by solar energy instead of diesel. This system, being tested in a farm in Abu Dhabi's Western Region, is the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution and can be customised to address clients' various needs. We also plan to unveil a new system for water treatment at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2016. It can recycle water, adapting it for outdoor needs such as industrial factories and remote areas such as labour camps."
On the occasion of Gitex Technology Week, the Zone is offering new companies planning to register in Masdar City an attractive discount of up to 30 per cent off their first year trade license fees till January 2016.