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Abu Dhabi provides new impetus for manufacturing

New scheme offers investors option of choosing from pre-approved designs that will speed up the construction approval process for industrial buildings

Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News
Musaffah Industrial area-Municipality is encouraging investors to develop more manufacturing activity in Musaffah, Abu Dhabi Photo
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: With the aim of promoting more manufacturing activity in Abu Dhabi, the Emirate’s municipal sector regulator has introduced a new scheme to reduce construction costs for new industrial facilities.

Under the initiative, potential investors can choose from a set of pre-approved building designs available with 11 certified construction consultants, and this will eliminate the two per cent design fee that has to be paid, Khamis Al Dahmani, head of the unified government building permits platform at the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport, told Gulf News.

“We’ve assessed all vacant industrial plots in the city, as well as plots that have not been developed by investors, before embarking on this initiative. Based on their size and location, the pre-approved designs should apply to nearly all undeveloped plots, and the goal is to encourage more industrial activity in Abu Dhabi,” Al Dahmani said.

According to figures released by the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi, manufacturing activity makes up 6.9 per cent of the emirate’s gross domestic product in 2016, and contributed 22.6 per cent of gross output.

The majority of industrial plots in the capital are located in Mussaffah, as well as in Al Mafraq area. They range from 10,000 square metres to 150,000 square metres in size.

“There are currently 87 pre-approved designs that investors can choose from, and these can be used for the construction of a variety of different industrial facilities, including warehouses, storage units and office-cum-stores,” Al Dahmani said.

The investor still has to pay the two per cent supervision fee to the construction consultant, but will be able to save on the cost of design, the official explained. Once a design is picked, final approval can be obtained in as short a period as five days so that construction work can begin.

“After about six months, we will look into how much of an impact this scheme has had on encouraging more manufacturing,” Al Dahmani said.

The Department may even extend the initiative to Al Ain and the Western Region in the future.

“While Abu Dhabi is the major industrial hub in the emirate, we may implement a similar plan in other areas if it promotes industrial development,” the official added.

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