300 hectare set aside for world’s first biotechnology free zone

Crown Prince announces Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech) landmark project

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By  Eudore Chand Published  February 12, 2005

Dubai has earmarked 300 hectares of land for the development of the world’s first free zone dedicated to the biotechnology industry. The Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech) project was announced by General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister. DuBiotech will create the infrastructure and environment in which to develop the region’s biotechnology sector. The park will be built in several phases on a 300-hectare site, close to the Dubailand project. “We have been working hard to take our country and society into the ‘knowledge age’. In spite of all that we have successfully achieved, we are still at the beginning of the road. Today, we take a new step forward — by launching the Dubai Bio-technology Initiative,” commented Sheikh Mohammed. Dubai Biotechnology initiative is to be an incubator for researchers and scientists and a centre for production, creativity and development. Upon completion, the park will cover more than 3 million m2 of built-up area. Its infrastructure will comprise custom-built research and development facilities such as laboratories, sterile rooms and incubators, as well as office space and residential facilities. The first phase of development will be ready by early 2006. Ahmad bin Byat, director general of Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone (Tecom), said that DuBiotech is part of Dubai’s next growth horizon and its long-term plan of creating a strong diversified knowledge-based economy. The park will be built with two main segments: an industry cluster and a complex that will house the Foundation for Research and Innovation — a specialised organisation focusing on government-funded research and development in select fields. DuBiotech will be headed by Dr. Abdulqader Al Khayat, who left his position as director general of Dubai Police’s general department of forensic administration, to take over as executive director of this new initiative. Dr. Al Khayat brings with him over 20 years’ experience in the fields of genetics and forensics. “We are confident that DuBiotech will become the centre of excellence for biotechnology in the region. We will achieve this by creating the right business and regulatory environment, developing state-of-the-art scientific facilities, securing government funding, and maintaining an unwavering focus on developing R&D within the region,” he said. The park will offer 100% exemption on corporate and personal tax — guaranteed by the Dubai Government for 50 years — 100% ownership of the business, 100% repatriation of capital and profits, no currency restrictions, simplified incorporation, and a fast-track visa service.

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