The Abu Dhabi-based manufacturer, Monarch Airplane Manufacturing, and the China-based EHang Holding (NASDAQ: EH), a world’s leading autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) technology platform company, have signed a partnership agreement to establish first facility in the Middle East and Africa to manufacture and operate sustainable electric-powered aircraft and drones for passengers and cargo transportation in Abu Dhabi.

The announcement is in line with the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy’s initiatives, including Industry 4.0’s innovative technologies, new circular economy regulatory framework as well as new green policies and incentives to continue its transition towards a smart, circular, and sustainable economy.

The cooperation aims to manufacture sustainable electric aircrafts and drones, establish a command-and-control center to manage the urban air mobility autonomously and build infrastructure, vertiports (take-off and landing platforms), and facilities for operating electric aircrafts and drones, providing opportunities to qualify and train Emirati talents. The project contributes to revitalizing markets and supporting local products by facilitating flow of goods and merchandise to sales outlets, ports, and airports, and enhances seamless trade.

It will help in establishing advanced infrastructure for vertiports and autonomous flight management system operated by artificial intelligent (AI), supported by techniques of sustainable and electric-powered commercial aircrafts and drones, through cooperation and partnership with local entities to enable Abu Dhabi to adopt urban aviation technologies. The project which focuses on improving smart and sustainable mobility will enhance Abu Dhabi’s position as the smartest city in the Middle East and Africa region.

His Excellency Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, said “As part of its efforts to transition to the next phase of economic diversification, Abu Dhabi is focusing on knowledge based, innovation-driven economic sectors. The Industrial strategy is a major factor to achieve our objectives as its programmes aim to enhance, encourage, and adopt methods and technologies of industry 4.0, circular economy, talent development, ecosystem enablement, homegrown supply chain, and value chain development”.

“This partnership to manufacture and manage electric-powered aircraft and drones for cargo and passengers reflects high level of our infrastructure for advanced and smart industries and developed legislative and regulatory frameworks in the Emirate, which provides an attractive environment for innovations and investments in advanced industries and technological transformation. To ensure best conditions for investors and entrepreneurs, ADDED has launched many initiatives to enhance ease of doing business and trade, financing, and attract foreign direct investment,” H.E. added.

Mr. Hussain Ali Alomaeirah, founder and chairman of Monarch has signed the agreement with Mr. Yang Nick Ning, Board of Director of EHang holdings.

“This venture will support the future of transportation sector in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in line with the government vision to enhance fundamentals of the smart city. It provides a new concept of cargo and passenger transportation, utilising advanced technologies, artificial intelligence, and sustainable energy with zero carbon emissions,” Alomaeirah said.

“Monarch is establishing partnerships with the world’s best manufacturer of electric aircrafts, and a designer and consulting company for the urban air mobility (UAM), which develops and operates the most advanced UAM systems in the world,” Alomaeirah added.

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