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With year-round sunshine, Abu Dhabi is a uniquely attractive location for AgTech companies specialising in desert climates. The Middle East and North Africa is home to the world’s fastest-growing population, and AgTech companies stand to be able to plug themselves into the regional agriculture markets that are continuing to grow in competitiveness against food imported into the region.
The Abu Dhabi Government has identified AgTech as a high-growth, critical sector. To support the growth of the sector, as part of the Abu Dhabi Government’s Ghadan 21 accelerator programme, ADIO has developed a generous three-year incentive package for AgTech companies developing solutions in desert agriculture. Three subsectors have been identified as high potential for companies operating in Abu Dhabi:
Indoor farming technology: With its history of water conversation and advanced desalination projects, Abu Dhabi is versed in the needs of indoor farming. Building the best indoor farming technologies aligns with Abu Dhabi’s drive for water conversation. This approach to combating water scarcity coupled with the emirate’s leading infrastructure means that Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s leading destinations for indoor farming technology.
Precision agriculture and ag-robotics: Abu Dhabi is an ideal place for companies pursuing precision agriculture and ag-robotics due to a growing demand for agriculture technologies. This will help local farmers to minimise resource utilisation and wastage of critical resources including water, energy and land.
Algae-based biofuels: Finding alternatives to carbon fuels, such as sustainable fuels that come from algae. Abu Dhabi’s year-round sunshine and access to rich marine environments make the emirate an ideal place to farm algae fuel alternatives.
Companies operating in Abu Dhabi’s AgTech sector can benefit from the city’s expansive knowledge-based ecosystem and connections to virtually all corners of the world.
We are working to ensure the success of AgTech companies in the emirate by providing generous cash and non-cash incentive packages with innovation at the core.
The AED 1 Billion ($272 Million) fund, backed by the Abu Dhabi Government’s Ghadan 21 programme, has been tailored to support AgTech innovation. Incentives are available for Abu Dhabi based AgTech companies to aid growth and also, international companies to accelerate their establishment in Abu Dhabi.
Incentive packages will be prioritised for companies developing solutions in one or more of the high-growth subsectors:
- Indoor farming technology
- Precision agriculture and ag-robotics
- Algae-based biofuels
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Registered AgTech companies from across the world that meet the below criteria are welcome to apply.
- The company has or will establish a physical presence in Abu Dhabi, including a material number of full-time engineers or scientists
- The company has comprehensive research and development capabilities and/or plans
The Application Process
- Submit your interest
- Introductory call
- Submit a detailed project business case including financial forecasts and technical plan
- Undergo technical review
- Submit documents for financial due diligence
- If approved, receive an incentive package proposal
- Sign a definitive agreement with ADIO
- Establish your Abu Dhabi operations and begin receiving incentives
Below you will find answers to the questions we get asked the most
Abu Dhabi is an ideal place for growing companies interested in exploring agriculture in desert climates. With its year-round warm climate and desert environment, Abu Dhabi offers an exciting opportunity for AgTech companies to accelerate their research and product development in desert agriculture.
As part of the Abu Dhabi Government’s Ghadan 21 accelerator programme, we are working to attract foreign direct investment and R&D in agricultural technology.
It is one of several sectors that have been prioritised as part of programme to accelerate the emirate’s economic growth and reflect the priorities of its citizens, residents and investors.
We welcome applications from all countries.
We accept applications on a rolling basis. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible.
There are three key sub-sectors within the AgTech ecosystem that align with Abu Dhabi’s priorities and desert environment:
1. Indoor farming technology: in line with Abu Dhabi’s aspiration of water conservation, advancement in indoor farming technology is a priority area. With growing local and international population, Abu Dhabi’s demand for high quality farming produce will put indoor farming technology at the forefront.
2. Precision agriculture and ag-robotics: Abu Dhabi is an ideal place for companies pursuing precision agriculture and ag-robotics due to a growing demand for agriculture technologies. This will help local farmers to minimise resource utilisation and wastage of critical resources including water, energy and land.
3. Algae-based biofuels: increasing demand for biofuels, as an alternative to traditional fuel, makes algae-based biofuels an attractive sector. All-year round sunlight, access to saltwater and abundant land provides companies with an ideal environment for biofuels in Abu Dhabi.
In addition to providing generous financial incentives, Abu Dhabi offers a wide range of benefits to both businesses and individuals, including:
- Globally competitive tax rates (0% income and corporate tax)
- World-class infrastructure (ranked #5 in the Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017) and the ability to handle high-volume commodities
- Located at the heart of a large and rapidly growing region, with 80% of the world’s population within an eight-hour plane journey
- Inexpensive energy sources
- Favorable tariff structures
Yes, we offer incentives for innovative knowledge-based projects in the AgTech sub-sectors, both from agricultural technology companies who would be new to Abu Dhabi as well as those already present here and are looking to expand.
There is no fixed number. If your company is considering whether or not to apply, we strongly encourage you to do so and would love to hear from you.
If your company is not a good fit for our agricultural technology initiative, it may be eligible for other incentive programmes we run. Please contact us here
The key steps are as follows:
1. Register your interest online on our website
2. Submit your basic company information
3. Have an introductory phone call with our team to discuss further details
4. Submit detailed additional information
5. Deliver in-person pitch at ADIO's headquarters
6. Receive a comprehensive incentive package
7. Sign a Memorandum of Understanding with ADIO
8. Transition to Abu Dhabi!
In order to receive the funds, we require your business to establish a physical presence in Abu Dhabi, including a material number of full-time engineers or scientists. While you may continue to maintain operations in any country, our award of financial incentives will always be linked to projects established and delivered in Abu Dhabi.