Masdar stall at Gitex

Masdar stall at Gitex

Masdar unveils new clean-tech licences

The benefits will further incentivise local start-ups and encourage UAE entrepreneurs to enter the private sector

01 November 2016

Masdar City, one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments, is introducing new licences to encourage entrepreneurs to set up facilities within the city’s business free zone.

The announcement was made at the 36th Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (Gitex), held in Dubai recently. Masdar City’s full suite of free zone and investment services targeting the Middle East & North Africa’s clean-tech industry was promoted throughout Gitex Technology Week at a dedicated exhibition stand.

“Masdar City is nurturing the region’s first dedicated clean-tech cluster anchored by a research institute specialising in advanced energy and sustainable technologies,” said Mohammed Al Fardan, director of the Masdar City Free Zone. “These additional business benefits will further incentivise local start-ups and encourage more UAE national entrepreneurs to enter the private sector, while at the same supporting the city’s overall mandate to connect education with research and development (R&D) and business with investment.”

The distinct business benefits of the new free zone licences for individuals that qualify include: permission for individuals to register as businesses besides branches; minimum share capital requirements waived; lower free zone registration charges; lower charges to lease single-desk office space known as ‘hot desks’; standard requirement to provide a bank or employee guarantee when issuing a UAE residence visa waived; and direct access to client networking events at Masdar City, as well as access to a dedicated business community portal.

Existing free zone benefits include 100 per cent foreign ownership, exemption from corporate and personal income taxes, and 0 per cent import tariffs, as well as access to R&D partnerships through the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. The free zone also offers a ‘One-Stop Shop’ service handling paperwork such as visa processing on site.  

Masdar City aims to grow its tenant base nearly four-fold by 2020, and to increase the net leasable area within its free zone by around a third every year by that time. Today, more than 400 companies from six continents operate from the City, from start-ups to multinationals including Siemens, Lockheed Martin, GE, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Schneider Electric.

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