KIZAD and ZonesCorp are part of the AD Ports' stable. The strong leasing interest in the first six months of this year indicate businesses are looking beyond the pandemic. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Ahead of its planned IPO, Abu Dhabi Ports is doing well on the operations side – something that would not escape the attention of likely investors.

The operator of ports and free zones in Abu Dhabi has leased more than 2.2 million square metres of its Industrial Cities & Free Zone Cluster during the first-half of 2021 - a “clear indication” that demand for industrial land continues to accelerate despite the impact of the pandemic. These are made up of the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) and ZonesCorp, with a combined 550 square kilometres of industrial and commercial land.

Categories that have been leasing include those in metals, food, auto, technology, and chemicals. There was also a simultaneous increase in foreign direct investment during this period, with demand generated from “multiple adjacent sectors including ecommerce, plastics, logistics, and light manufacturing”.

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Abdullah Al Hameli, Head of the Industrial Cities and Free Zone Cluster at AD Ports Group, said: “Leveraging our strategic location, at the heart of the world and the crossroads between the east and the west, the industrial zones in Abu Dhabi are quickly evolving into global hubs for key sectors, where businesses cater to the needs of almost 4.5 billion consumers in immediate geographic regions.”

These industrial zones currently host more than 1,500 businesses. The cluster is embarking on projects such as The Life Science Park, which has been designed to cater to demand from the pharmaceutical, medical equipment, research and development, education, as well as other health-related sectors.

AD Ports Group also recently announced the completion of 1.38 million square metres of commercial and retail areas at Rahayel Automotive and Mobility City. It is billed as the “first integrated hub for the automotive industry in the region”.