DUBAI Abu Dhabi-listed Aldar Properties ALDR.AD won a contract on Monday to build a new site for the twofour54 free trade zone that hosts media firms.
Aldar, the state-linked construction firm that built Abu Dhabi's Formula One circuit, was awarded the build-operate-transfer contract for the new site by the government-owned Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi, twofour54 said in a statement.
The United Arab Emirates has built free trade zones across the country, offering foreign firms 100 percent ownership and repatriation of profits. Outside these zones, firms in the UAE usually need to be at least 51 percent owned by UAE nationals.
The twofour54 free zone for media firms, now based in Abu Dhabi city, will move to nearby Yas Island where the Formula One circuit is located. Companies that are already set up in the free zone include CNN and Sky News Arabia.
The first phase of building the free trade zone is valued at 1 billion dirhams ($272 million), the statement said. The initial gross floor area would be 95,000 square metres and would expand over time to 300,000 square metres, it said.
Dubai, another of the seven emirates making up the UAE, has developed specialised free trade zones for various industries, ranging from media to health.
($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham)
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Edmund Blair)