Senior industry figures from China and the UAE celebrated the groundbreaking of the Roadbot Tire Project KIZAD (‘Roadbot’) recently, marking the development of the first tire manufacturing plant in the UAE and the growth of downstream industry in KIZAD, Abu Dhabi’s industrial hub and part of Abu Dhabi Ports.
The 2.2 square kilometre Demonstration Zone is being developed by Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company (JOCIC), and Roadbot becomes the first Chinese firm to set up there since JOCIC and Abu Dhabi Ports signed a 50-year agreement in 2017. The Roadbot project was launched last year during the visit of Chinese Premier Xi Jinping to the UAE.
Across 275,000 square metres, the factory will have an initial annual production capacity of 3 million Passenger Car Radial (PCR) tires and 1 million Truck and Bus Radial (TBR) tires; with production increasing to 10 million PCR tires and 1 million Truck and Bus Radials by 2022.
The facility strengthens Abu Dhabi’s unique position in the regional original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and replacement tire markets.
The longstanding economic relationship between China and UAE was recently strengthened with the official inauguration of the CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal at Khalifa Port; positioning Abu Dhabi as the regional hub for COSCO’s global network of 36 ports and further connecting the Emirate to the major trade hubs along the Belt and Road Initiative.
Currently, several automotive projects are based at KIZAD, with the industrial zone acting as a regional mega hub for Completely Built Up (CBU) logistics for Al Futtaim and Ghassan Aboud Cars.
Through Autoterminal Barcelona’s RoRo/Car Terminal at Khalifa Port, KIZAD and Khalifa Port are positioned to become a regional hub for commercial car trade routes in the Gulf, East Africa and the Red Sea.
Currently, global automotive brands such as Toyota, Jeep, Dodge, Fiat, Honda operate volumes out of KIZAD’s automotive cluster.