Wasl and Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority sign MoU to collaborate on Dubai Food Tech Valley development

Wasl Asset Management Group and The Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will provide a framework for both parties to work closely on Dubai’s Food Tech Valley project. The two entities had previously collaborated on Dubai CommerCity’s Business Park.

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 Hesham Al Qassim, CEO of Wasl Asset Management Group and His Excellency Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, Executive Chairman of DIEZ, at a ceremony held at the DIEZ headquarters, along with other senior officials and members of both entities.

Under the agreement, the two parties will collaborate on several aspects within the project, to employ the latest technological innovations and sustainable methodologies towards achieving 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. The project, which is a partnership between the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Wasl, aims to build a modern integrated city focused on enhancing food production and position Dubai as a leading global hub in the field.

DIEZ will be providing their operational expertise and solutions to ensure efficient implementation and to 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 that covers customs, business set-up support, and a B2B marketplace, in addition to advisory and administrative services.

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, 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 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 and has been adopted across the UAE as an approach to work. 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.”

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.”

HE Zarooni reiterated DIEZ’s commitment to support 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.

Al Zarooni 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 as reflected in the success of the partnership between Dubai Airport Freezone and Wasl in launching Dubai CommerCity.”

Food Tech Valley is established to be centered around food, innovation, knowledge, technology, and sustainability. The focus is 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 toward a sustainable food system. Food Tech Valley will act as a catalyst to transform the UAE generally and Dubai specifically to be the Hub for future clean tech-based food and agricultural products. Once complete Food Tech Valley will be an 18 million square foot development, that will create over 14,000 job opportunities, attracting more than 4,000 visitors and will be home to over 1,150 residents.

The Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority is a key driver to consolidating Dubai’s position as an important hub for global trade and investment. It also serves as the umbrella entity providing the directions for the growth of several free zones, namely 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 has now reached around 5,000. It is a thriving business and investment community, supported by more than 25 years of experience attracting leading multinational companies in various categories and sectors.