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UAE, UAE, ABU DHABI - Transport

Abdullah Humaid Al Hameli

CEO, Economic Cities & Free Zones, AD Ports Group

Bio

Abdullah Humaid Al Hameli is the CEO of the Economic Cities & Free Zones Cluster at AD Ports Group. He has more than 15 years of experience in various industries, including human resources, maritime trade, finance, and corporate operations. He currently oversees the growth and expansion strategy of AD Ports Group’s industrial and commercial zones portfolio. Prior to this role, he served as executive vice president corporate support at AD Ports Group, where he looked after the corporate services function across the entire portfolio. Al Hameli has also served as acting executive director of the finance and administration affairs sector and advisor to the chairman in the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT). He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Portland State University and a master’s degree in strategic and security studies from the UAE National Defense College.

"AD Ports Group is committed to supporting the vision of our wise leadership and contribute to the economic diversification of the UAE’s GDP."
AD Ports’ merging of ZonesCorp and KIZAD to create KEZAD Group birthed the UAE’s largest operator of fully integrated economic zones and a key element of efforts to diversify the economy and boost SMEs.
ZonesCorp has been merged with KIZAD to create KEZAD Group. What was the thinking behind the move?

AD Ports Group is committed to supporting the vision of our wise leadership and contribute to the economic diversification of the UAE’s GDP. By merging ZonesCorp with KIZAD to make KEZAD Group, we created the UAE’s largest operator of fully integrated economic zones and a perfect launchpad for a diverse group of businesses and sectors to establish themselves. KEZAD Group consists of 12 economic zones and is spread over 550sqkm, making it one of the largest industrial and commercial hubs in the world. The merger yielded a single entity that combines the benefits of integrated ecosystems, streamlined supply chains, and competitive rates. Through its wide offerings, state-of-the-art infrastructure, connectivity, and sheer scale, KEZAD Group has already contributed significantly to the establishment of non-oil industrial sectors in Abu Dhabi. KEZAD Group fully supports the UAE’s industrial strategy, as well as the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy. As an integral part of positioning Abu Dhabi as the region’s most competitive industrial, trade, and logistics hub and through our offerings and services, KEZAD Group is seen as a prime destination for local and international businesses looking to establish a presence in the region. Since the merger, business has been on the rise, and forecasts are indicating a robust upward trend for the years to come. Currently serving more than 1,850 clients in 17 industrial sectors, approximately 70% of these clients are in the industrial, manufacturing, and logistics sectors. Other major sectors include building materials, metals, automotive, plastic and polymers, specialty chemicals, food and agtech, pharma, high tech, and green energy.

AD Ports Group has unveiled KEZAD Group as part of its plan to consolidate and grow its economic cities and free zones offering. How would you define the group’s value proposition?

KEZAD Group offers integrated economic zones and we operate one of the world’s largest industrial, trade, and logistics zones. Our services have steadily attracted foreign investment to Abu Dhabi, while we also support local and regional businesses looking for a stronghold to launch their businesses. We provide specialized ecosystems that support strategic industries and enable sustainable diversification and growth. By providing a suite of favorable business solutions and economic zone benefits, KEZAD Group brings an unmatched platform across strategic locations that drives growth across the region and beyond. For example, we are establishing the 3.3sqkm Abu Dhabi Food Hub-KEZAD in partnership with Ghassan Aboud Group and in collaboration with Rungis International to ensure fresh food supply for not only the country, but the entire region. Similarly, we are developing the Global Auto Hub, Abu Dhabi, another 3.3sqkm area dedicated to the automotive industry. This will be in addition to the 19,000sqm of space for commercial and retail areas at Rahayel Auto and Mobility City. Our specialized economic zones allow businesses to thrive in supportive environments that recognizes their industry’s particular needs. By leveraging downstream assets and supporting a circular economy, we were able to create ideal settings where different industries could function optimally.

SMEs represent more than 94% of the total number of companies operating in the UAE. What role can we expect KEZAD Incubation Hub to play?

KEZAD Group recognizes the importance of SMEs to the market and their substantial contribution to GDP. The KEZAD Incubation Hub provides SMEs with many options to help launch their business. Part of the offerings include cost-effective workspaces, as well as several licensing options. When companies approach KEZAD Incubation Hub, they are guided through the options. Companies can establish themselves quickly, so that they may divert their energies into innovation and launching their businesses. With the ability to accommodate thousands of SMEs, the hub can offer many businesses viable options to start their journeys. Furthermore, the added benefit of establishing themselves in Abu Dhabi’s stable environment acts as an added bonus. Collaborations and partnerships with government agencies allow KEZAD to further support SMEs by providing various incentives. Considering the rich diversity that SMEs bring to our economy, KEZAD Group will continue to value their business and to provide avenues for supporting and enriching them. SME growth is a vital element of economic diversification, and therefore we shall continually work side by side with them toward a beneficial future.

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