Free zones are to be set up in Abu Dhabi to attract local and foreign investment and diversify the economy away from dependence on oil.
The zones will serve a number of industrial sectors, said Jaber Hareb Al Khaili, Chief Executive Officer of the Higher Corporation for Specialised Economic Zones.
"The government is studying the possibility of setting up free zones in the emirate," he told Emirates Business. "The first will be announced very soon."
He said comprehensive studies were being carried out on the establishment of the zones, but gave no details about where and when the first one would be set up or what industry it would host.
"I cannot say what the first zone will be or when it will be established. Studies are under way so expect news very soon. Soon free zones will be emerging in the emirate," he said.
Asked whether foreign ownership would be allowed to encourage overseas investors to inject money into the zones, Al Khaili said a decision on the issue was expected very soon. "The issue is being discussed seriously and progress is being made. The government will issue a decision soon on foreign ownership."