Abu Dhabi expands AgTech incentive programme to target companies in high-growth areas

The new Dh2bn incentive programme will support innovation-focused companies in different sectors

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - - -  13 February 2017 --- Gray skies spread a blanket over the Abu Dhabi skyline on Monday, February 13, 2017, but did not put a damper on the spirit of people and birds that flocked to the breakwater. (  DELORES JOHNSON / The National  )  
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The Abu Dhabi Investment Office is expanding its agricultural technology incentive programme to include companies in other high-growth areas, and will provide incentives worth Dh2 billion ($545 million), it said on Thursday.

The programme is now available to innovation-focused firms in financial services, information and communications technology (ICT), health services and biopharma, and tourism, according to a statement from Adio.

“As we look ahead to 2021, Adio is doubling down on our commitment to support investors in Abu Dhabi,” Tariq Bin Hendi, director general of Adio, said. “We are excited to replicate the success of AgTech in other high-growth areas rooted in innovation.”

The new programme, which is part of Dh50bn Ghadan 21 economic stimulus initiative, includes rebates, grants and other non-financial incentives.

“The expanded programme will create thousands of high-skilled jobs, drive innovation in key sectors and spur the development of impactful solutions that have the potential to be beneficial to the region and across the globe,” Adio said.

Adio invested $100m in four agri-tech companies – AeroFarms, Madar Farms, RNZ and RDI – in April to help them build research and development facilities and food production centres in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi’s economy is expected to expand by 6 per cent to 8 per cent over the next two years, with the oil sector, financial services, government spending and foreign investment driving the growth, Mohammed Al Shorafa, chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development told The National in October.

Launched in 2019, Adio is a government body tasked with overseeing foreign direct investment and private sector development in the emirate. The entity is promoting Abu Dhabi as an investment destination and hub for technology companies.