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Demand for industrial free zone stays strong

Abu Dhabi's latest industrial zone will be full by the end of the year as demand for industrial space in the emirate shows no signs of abating.

Abu Dhabi's latest industrial zone will be full by the end of the year as demand for industrial space in the emirate shows no signs of abating. About 50 of the companies on a waiting list for land will be allocated plots in phase 3 of Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD) in Musaffah. It will specialise in companies involved with construction materials, engineering and chemical compounds. "ICAD 3 today is in the process of being leased," said Mohammed al Qamzi, the chief executive of the Higher Corporation for Specialised Economic Zones (ZonesCorp).

"By the end of 2010, there won't be any queue as all the land will be given." ZonesCorp, the largest free zone developer in the emirate, is responsible for expanding Abu Dhabi's industrial base as part of a drive to boost economic growth and diversify away from oil revenues. About 560 companies are operating within the areas controlled by ZonesCorp. The first two phases of ICAD are operational. ICAD 1 focuses on medium to heavy manufacturing, while ICAD 2, which opened in 2007, caters to oil and gas, chemicals, engineering and processing companies.

ZonesCorp has already started handing over plots to companies within the 12 sq km ICAD 3, with power and water facilities in the process of being installed, the company said. A handful of companies have already started construction on their plots. ICAD will also be home to Abu Dhabi Polymers Park, where polymer conversion companies will be based. ICAD 4, which will be 24 sq km, is still at the stage of master planning, with companies working in steel and oil and gas services likely to be its focus, Mr al Qamzi said.

ICAD 5 will be smaller, at 11 sq km, with an infrastructure cost of US$1.3 billion (Dh4.7bn), he said. The ICAD zones have been built according to a public-private partnership model that covers the cost of roads and sewerage and irrigation systems. Water and electricity are handled by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority. ZonesCorp was in the process of surveying companies within its zones about what improvements they would like to see made to the services offered.

tarnold@thenational.ae

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