Abu Dhabi has launched a dedicated zone in Masdar City for smart and autonomous vehicles, in a strategic move that will boost the local economy and create thousands of jobs.

The Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industries (SAVI) cluster, rolled out on Friday in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will attract companies from around the world to advance the development of driverless fleets across air, land and sea.

The zone will be home to manufacturing facilities, hangars, test zones, research and development (R&D) labs, testing and certification facilities and large-scale workshops, according to a statement on Friday.

So far, several foreign companies have already shared plans to establish operations in Abu Dhabi, each bringing their expertise in air, land and sea applications, the statement said.

The SAVI project has been dubbed as a transformative strategy that will create up to 50,000 new jobs and contribute up to AED120 billion ($32.67 billion) to the country’s economy.

“As a catalyst for Abu Dhabi’s diversification, SAVI is a game changer that will unleash extraordinary economic growth and create new opportunities for talent, entrepreneurs and investors,” said Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED).

The new zone will also help accelerate the adoption of green mobility services and propel the country and wider world towards a zero-emissions future.

Demand for autonomous vehicles is forecast to hit more than 3.1 million units by 2030 and the market is set to expand at a CAGR of 53.6% from 2022 to 2030, according to Grand View Research.

Within the auto industry alone, autonomous driving has the potential to create $300 billion to $400 billion in revenues by 2035, according to McKinsey & Company.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)