Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City signed a preliminary agreement with Emirates Development Bank to support businesses registered in its free zone and help them with their banking needs.
As part of the agreement, Masdar City will encourage small and medium enterprises and large businesses to do their banking through EDB’s app and open an account, while EDB will offer priority banking for Masdar City customers and give them easy access to finance, the free zone said in a statement on Thursday.
“Through this strategic collaboration, we aim to attract more innovation to the UAE through easy financial processes and continuing to grow exciting cutting-edge technologies and innovation in Masdar City,” said Abdulla Balalaa, executive director of Masdar City.
“This will further underpin Abu Dhabi’s status as an attractive destination for world-class business owners and innovators to incubate, develop and grow industries of the future.”
Masdar City is home to a number of businesses including Siemens Energy, G42 Healthcare and Tabreed, among others. The International Renewable Energy Agency and Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence are also based at Masdar City.
EDB was founded in 2011 through a merger between Emirates Industrial Bank and Real Estate Bank. It aims to provide Dh30 billion ($8.17bn) in financing over the next five years as part of a strategy to support SMEs and the priority industrial sector in the country. The UAE plans to more than double the size of its industrial sector, to Dh300bn by 2031.
The bank will fund industries such as health care, infrastructure, food security and technology, and help to generate 25,000 jobs.
Last year, Masdar City introduced new business packages with licence fees ranging between Dh1,000 ($272.29) and Dh12,000 to attract more companies to set up operations in its free zone and support existing businesses. It also signed a financing deal worth $200 million with First Abu Dhabi Bank to help the free zone acquire more properties through its Green Real Estate Investment Trust.
The proceeds from the transaction will assist Masdar City in bringing more sustainable assets to the market through new developments while expanding its size, it said this week.