Mubadala Development, a strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, is teaming up with one of Spain's largest information technology firms to improve traffic and transport systems in the emirate.
Mubadala yesterday said it signed an agreement with Indra, based in Madrid, to explore traffic management and transport joint ventures. The pact builds on a relationship that started in May last year, when the two companies agreed to collaborate on aerospace and defence technology ventures during a state visit to India by King Juan Carlos of Spain.
"We've been working with Indra for some time now, collaborating on important projects across a wide range of technology areas," said Jassem al Zaabi, the executive director of information and communications at Mubadala. "The ICT [information and communications technologies] sector is vital to our plans for economic diversification, and partnering with businesses that are global leaders in their field is a central part of our growth strategy. We look forward to exploring new projects and opportunities together."
The two companies had already undertaken "several projects" in aerospace, automated maintenance systems and defence electronics, Mubadala said.
Bosco Ojeda, an analyst at UBS in London, said that Indra's presence in the Middle East was limited but that the company was planning for revenue growth in countries outside Europe. Indra has offices in 30 countries, mostly in Europe, South America and Asia.
"Clearly, Indra is quite an international group and they are growing their international presence quite strongly," he said. "Roughly 45 per cent of revenues are outside of their core market of Spain, and obviously they are looking to expand further, given the problems in Spain."
Indra offers a variety of traffic management technologies covering rail, air, toll roads and tunnels. It is a member of a Spanish consortium expected to win a €6 billion (Dh28.91bn) contract to build and operate a 450km railway between Mecca and Medina.
The company's products range "from the most basic to the most complex control systems" for traffic, Mr Ojeda said.
"This agreement is exciting for us because it marks another step in our continued growth in Abu Dhabi and the wider Middle East," said Alfonso Fernandez Rangel, Indra's business development director in the Middle East. "We're pleased to be partnering with an organisation that shares our vision for innovation and for delivering world-class services and products. I'm sure this will lead to some major technology projects very soon."