ABU DHABI - As part of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi’s (EAD) cooperation with its strategic partners to accelerate sustainable economic and industrial development in Abu Dhabi, and to enhance the emirate’s position as an attractive centre for global industrial investments, EAD has launched the X71 automated licencing service for industrial facilities.

This service will facilitate the licencing process of industrial facilities in specific and environmentally studied areas and will enable investors to receive the environmental license by reducing the environmental studies requirements. Therefore, investors will be able to receive the environmental license in 6 minutes.

It will also contribute to supporting the Environmental Centennial 2071 by protecting the environment and by attracting international industrial investments while increasing Abu Dhabi’s competitiveness, without compromising the environment or the emirate’s resources.

The Agency also signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and Abu Dhabi Ports (AD Ports) to create incentives for EAD’s Green Industries Labelling Programme.

The joint cooperation will facilitate environmental licensing procedures and knowledge exchange, while helping to organise mutually beneficial joint projects and promote investment opportunities.

The MoUs were signed by Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of EAD, Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, and Mohamed Al Khadar Al Ahmed, CEO of the Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (KEZAD) Group.

The signing coincides with the UAE’s preparations to host COP28, as the Agency works to unify its efforts in the field of climate action with its strategic partners to achieve a balance between economic development and leadership in the field of environmental protection.

The agreements will aim to attract anchoring industries that support the circular economy, encourage the use of renewable energies and advanced technology in various industries to reduce carbon emissions, and develop incentive programmes aimed at adopting best environmental practices in the industrial sector.

Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri said: “The launch of the Auto Permit X71 licensing service and the signing of the two MoUs are in line with the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who emphasised the importance of consolidating sustainability and protecting environmental and natural systems in the country. This was reflected in his declaration that 2023 is the ‘Year of Sustainability.’ It also highlights our legacy in adopting sustainable practices and enhancing awareness on the importance of protecting the environment and its resources and preserving them for future generations.”

She added the partnerships will help to achieve economic growth while preserving the natural heritage of Abu Dhabi. Protecting the environment and achieving sustainable development through these MoUs will enhance the joint efforts to achieve the wise leadership's vision in building a more sustainable and bright future for future generations, and to enhance Abu Dhabi's leading role globally in protecting the environment and achieving sustainable development.

Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED highlighted the importance of working with partners, saying, saying: “ADDED cooperates with all its partners to develop practical and innovative solutions to facilitate business and attract more investments as part of a sustainable economic development framework, as well as to comply with Abu Dhabi's climate change commitments”.

“Moreover, ADDED supports the industrial sector in order to enhance the national economy’s competitiveness and diversification now and in the future”, he said, adding: “This can be achieved through the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy (ADIS) besides other efforts”.

Al Blooshi also pointed out that “ADDED’s cooperation in launching the automated licensing service (X71) with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), and Abu Dhabi Ports, serves all these objectives and anchors a sustainable investment and economic strategy in the emirate.”

Furthermore, he noted that “As the Year of Sustainability approaches and with the launch of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) in the UAE in November, the X71 service contributes to highlighting Abu Dhabi’s efforts to adopt smart and environment-friendly ecosystems, particularly in the industrial sector, which is one of the most important sectors through which UAE hopes to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050.

“It also promotes Green Economy concepts, by aligning with environmental standards in locating industrial facilities, in a way that attracts major international investments that adopt the same approach", he added, concluding: “For us and for the next generations, we will provide everything necessary to ensure the success of this service."

Mohamed Al Khadar Al Ahmed, CEO of the Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (KEZAD) Group, said: “One of the pillars on which KEZAD relies in its business model is providing full support to investors. There is no doubt that developing and facilitating the environmental licensing procedures for industrial facilities would enhance the chances of attracting Industrial investments and increasing competitiveness in a way that contributes to achieving the Abu Dhabi's industrial strategy.

He added, "Stimulating environmentally friendly practices in the industrial sector confirms KEZAD 's commitment to promoting environmental initiatives, adopting sustainable policies, and supporting industrial investment without risking the environment or its resources, which comes in line with the vision and directives of the wise leadership to protect the environment and natural resources and achieve the sustainable development."