DUBAI: A business package designed to encourage an increase in the number of women-led businesses in Abu Dhabi has been introduced in Masdar City Free Zone.
The announcement comes ahead of Emirati Women’s Day on Aug. 28, which for 2021 is themed “Women: Ambitions & Inspiration for Next 50 Years” in line with the UAE’s “Year of the 50th”.
Abdulla Balalaa, Executive Director Masdar City, said, besides the number of women in the workforce in the UAE, women also constitute approximately 70 percent of university graduates.
From next year, this will also include women graduating from Masdar City-based, Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the world’s first university dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, and a highly significant area in progressing the global green transition.
“Masdar City therefore provides a unique ecosystem for women, who not only have the opportunity to study, but also the option to establish a business here and become part of an international network of innovators. With these kinds of opportunities, Masdar City Free Zone is an excellent location for women to set up their businesses,” Balalaa said.
He said Masdar has valued the importance of women in progressing towards a more sustainable future from its inception.
“At Masdar City Free Zone, we mirror this view which is also in line with the UAE governments’ goal of driving greater gender equality and furthering successful sustainable development. For example, in 2017, the UAE government pledged $50m to the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative fund and has introduced several initiatives to further encourage female entrepreneurship, including the Abu Dhabi Businesswomen Council,” he said.
Masara Alameiri, Acting Director Masdar City Free Zone, said Masdar is the regional hub for the R&D of sustainability-focused technologies and solutions and women were key drivers of the ground-breaking progress being made here in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), clean energy, healthtech, food security, mobility, water, and sustainable urban development.
“The Masdar City Free Zone is run by a highly knowledgeable team of experts who are ready to assist women with all of their requirements, both in person, via email or phone, or via the City’s Free Zone portal,” Alameri added.