Masdar City

Masdar City is the first global cleantech cluster to be located in one of the most sustainable cities in the world. It is home to the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The 6-sq-km city, located near Abu Dhabi International Airport and 17km from downtown Abu Dhabi, is emerging as a global centre for the sale, marketing, servicing and demonstration of renewable energy and sustainability technologies, as well as research and development, and investment in these fields.

As a business cluster, Masdar City provides firms with an environment that inspires innovation, offers business development opportunities, provides a living lab and test bed for new technologies, encourages informal knowledge sharing among likeminded professionals and serves as a magnet for world-class cleantech talent.

The city will be home to numerous companies, from Fortune 500 multinationals to start ups and the most cutting-edge technology firms, bringing these businesses close to fast-growing markets of the Middle East North Africa and Asia – regions hungry for clean technology and renewable-power products and services, driven by strong economic and demographic growth and increasingly supportive regulatory environments and government-level policy commitments to sustainability goals.

A one-stop shop for companies in the sector, Masdar City provides quick and easy set up, without the need for a local sponsor.

Some of the most advanced laboratories in the region are located at Masdar Institute, and the presence of this graduate-level research institute offers opportunities to pilot and test new technologies and ideas. The institute, the world’s first graduate university focused on renewable energy and cleantech, provides a steady stream of some of the best graduates anywhere in the sector.

At Masdar City, companies can

• Showcase technologies
• Use the city as a test bed for new ideas
• Undertake research in collaboration with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology
• Set up headquarters or regional sales and marketing offices
• Establish research and development facilities
• Offer goods and services for use in designing and building Masdar City
• Tap into the large, lucrative and growing markets for cleantech products and services in the Gulf, wider Middle East ad Asia.

Numerous Business Benefits

• Continuous formal and informal knowledge sharing across the city among the most talented experts in their sectors.
• Advanced laboratories located within the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.
• A location with unmatched international exposure from governments, organisations and companies looking to learn from Masdar City, its partners and suppliers. By locating at Masdar -City, companies can benefit from this association.
• The most efficient, state-of-the-art and sustainable buildings provide the ideal working and residential environment for staff.
• All the amenities one would expect from a world-class city.
• All types of commercial space: high-grade offices, research laboratories, testing facilities, assembly, concept stores and retail.

Special Economic Zone Benefits

Masdar City offers all the benefits one would associate with a Special Economic zone, though with a unique focus on clean technology and renewables, in a business-friendly and entrepreneurial environment that offers:

• Quick and easy set up with a one-stop shop for registration, government relations and fast-track visa processing
• Zero percent import tariffs
•  Zero percent taxes on companies and individuals
• No restrictions on capital movements, profits or quotas
• 100% foreign ownership
• No currency restrictions
• Hiring of expatriate staff
• Gateway to the vibrant market opportunities of the Middle East and Asia
• Outstanding logistics network incorporating air, sea, road and eventually rail
• A safe, friendly working environment
• A high quality of life
• The opportunity to maximise corporate social responsibility objectives Strong IP protection framework

Areas of Focus

In light of its climate and geography, Masdar City will focus on attracting firms and pursuing research in four primary areas of the cleantech industry: solar, green building, water, and power storage, and secondarily in the areas of smart grids, efficiency appliances, electric vehicles and waste.More specifically, companies and organisations looking to set up in Masdar City should identify which specific sector(s) in which they will operate:

• Energy Generation
• Regional Headquarters
• Energy Storage
• Consultancy
• Energy Transmission and Distribution
• Organic Products
• Energy Efficiency Equipments
• Non-Profit Organisation
• Air and Environment
• Cleantech and ICT
• Water and Waste Water
• Marketing
• Recycling and Solid Waste
• Business Information
• Transportation
• Human Resources Development
• Green Building
• Service Providers
• Types of Operating Licenses

Incorporation, which is essential for partner companies, is possible as one of three types of companies:

• A branch of a foreign company or UAE-based company (including companies incorporated in other UAE special economic zones)
• A special economic zone limited liability company with corporate shareholders
• A special economic zone limited liability company with individual shareholders.