In the presence of Ahmed bin Saeed, wasl Asset Management Group and Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority sign MoU

Release Date: 01 Mar 2022

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The Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) and wasl Asset Management Group, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that provides a framework for both parties to work closely on Dubai’s Food Tech Valley project. The two entities had previously collaborated on Dubai CommerCity, the region’s first dedicated e-commerce freezone.

In the presence of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of DIEZ, and Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, the agreement was signed by His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Executive Chairman of DIEZ and His Excellency Hesham Al Qassim, CEO of wasl Asset Management Group, at a ceremony held at the Dubai Airport Freezone. The event was also attended by other senior officials and members of both entities.

Under the agreement, DIEZ will be providing their operational expertise and solutions to ensure efficient implementation and achieve the highest returns for partners and contributors. The scope of the agreement includes provisions for alternate licensing options, special visas, expanding new services for Food Tech Valley covering customs, business set-up support, and a B2B marketplace, in addition to advisory and administrative services.

DIEZ will employ global standards and best practices and build on its success stories in developing and growing economic zones that have markedly contributed to the national economy for over 25 years. The two parties will collaborate on several aspects of the project such as employing the latest technological innovations and sustainable methodologies to help achieve the goals of Food Tech Valley, an initiative that was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of DIEZ, said: “DIEZ continues to consolidate its position as a pivotal contributor to improving Dubai’s attractiveness and competitiveness in trade, investment, and entrepreneurship. It also continues to support the Dubai Government’s continuous efforts to lay the foundations for a more integrated and flexible economy, based on diverse and sustainable systems, innovative work processes, as well as knowledge, innovation, and advanced technology as the main drivers of sustainable development. The Food Tech Valley in Dubai represents a strategic project focused both on sustainable development and economic growth, which is inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to adopt a culture which believes that nothing is impossible. Strategic partnerships are part of DIEZ’s vision to enhance its contribution to Dubai’s economic development, which is reflected in its cooperation with wasl to develop the Food Tech Valley. We are pleased to witness the conclusion of this partnership, and we hope that it will achieve its desired goals.”

His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Alzarooni, Executive Chairman of DIEZ, emphasized DIEZ’s commitment to supporting Dubai’s strategic initiatives that would boost economic activities and enhance the local business environment’s appeal as an investment destination for regional and global companies, noting that these are key factors to further diversify the economy.

Dr. Alzarooni added: “This partnership is an important development for us and aligns with our efforts to boost our contribution to the Food Tech Valley project, in cooperation with one of Dubai’s leading real estate and asset management companies. This new initiative represents a significant addition to the sustainable development efforts and food security strategy of the country, in line with the long-term vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, who said: ‘Food and medicine represent strategic sectors that help us ensure a prosperous and sustainable future for the next generation.’ This agreement further complements the ongoing collaboration between our organizations reflected in the success of the partnership between Dubai Airport Freezone and wasl in launching Dubai CommerCity.”

In his comments, HE Hesham Al Qassim said: “We are pleased to join hands with DIEZ on this innovative project, which is in line with the government’s efforts to transform the UAE into a global hub for tech-based food and agricultural solutions. Our mandate at wasl is to facilitate business growth in food tech, and we will spare no effort in supporting partnerships and initiatives that will help achieve the UAE Food Security National Strategy 2051.”

Food Tech Valley, an initiative centered around food, innovation, knowledge, technology, and sustainability, seeks to support and attract new agricultural technologies, bridging global and local knowledge in the field, while establishing a collaborative network to lead regional transformation and export knowledge related to sustainable food systems. Food Tech Valley will act as a catalyst to transform the UAE and Dubai into a hub for future clean tech-based food and agricultural products. On completion, Food Tech Valley will be an 18 million square feet development that will create over 14,000 job opportunities, attracting more than 4,000 visitors. The development will be home to over 1,150 residents.

The Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority plays an instrumental role in consolidating Dubai’s position as an important hub for global trade and investment. It also serves as the umbrella entity for several free zones, including Dubai Airport Freezone, Dubai Silicon Oasis, and Dubai CommerCity. By integrating three unique business development approaches, DIEZ provides an ideal environment for the growth and expansion of foreign companies, which currently have reached around 5,000.