Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone more than doubles new tenants in first half of 2020

Demand for space comes from companies in the aviation, e-commerce and healthcare sectors

Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zones has more than doubled the number of tenants at offices, business parks and warehouses connected to Abu Dhabi International Airport (above), Al Bateen Executive Airport and Al Ain International Airport. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Airports
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The Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone (ADAFZ) said it doubled the number of new tenants registering with the authority during the first half of 2020 as it attracted more international companies to the emirate.

The free zone, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Airports, recorded a 109 per cent rise in the number of licenses issued to companies, it said in a statement on Sunday. Most of the new tenants are companies in the aviation, e-commerce, and healthcare sectors.

"Our investments have proven particularly prudent during the current global pandemic, with our enhanced air cargo and freight transport capabilities supporting the successful operation of the health, food and beverage, and e-commerce sectors," Adel Al Taheri, head of property management and leasing at ADAFZ, said.

The UAE capital is focusing on attracting companies and talent in non-oil sectors —such as advanced technology, healthcare, aerospace, FinTech and agri-tech— as part of its strategy to diversify the economy from hydrocarbons.

International companies joining the free zone include industrial giant Honeywell and Saudi Arabia's logistics firm SMSA Express.

"Through its work, ADAFZ helps to supplement the comprehensive stimulus packages implemented by Abu Dhabi’s leadership, and ensures that international companies can continue to have a robust and reliable partner in the emirate," Shareef Hashim Al Hashmi, chief executive of Abu Dhabi Airports, said.

Honeywell recently helped set up the UAE's first production line for N95 masks in Al Ain, in partnership with Strata Manufacturing, the aerospace unit of Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company.

The facility has an annual capacity of more than 30 million masks and has supplied healthcare and emergency response teams across the Emirates.

Saudi Arabia's SMSA Express has set up a branch within ADAFZ’s Abu Dhabi International Airport free zone, after establishing a 1,000 square metre warehouse to be used as its first hub within the emirate, with a focus on air and land cargo shipments.

Operated and regulated by Abu Dhabi Airports, ADAFZ comprises of business, logistics and light industrial parks connected to Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Bateen Executive Airport and Al Ain International Airport. These parks are developed to attract industry clusters such as aviation, aerospace, logistics, and technology, driving private and public partnerships, investment and property development.