Skip to main content

China’s NWTN to build electric vehicle facility in Abu Dhabi

The deal represents the UAE’s push toward green technology, as well as China’s growing influence in the wider region.
A man walks past an electric car in Masdar City, outside the rich Emirate of Abu Dhabi, on Oct. 7, 2015.

An Abu Dhabi ports company announced Tuesday that a new electric vehicle production facility is soon coming to the Emirati city. 

AD Ports Group’s Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) signed a lease agreement with the Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer NWTN. The two entities will establish an electric vehicle assembly facility in Abu Dhabi, which will be the first of its kind in the city, KIZAD said in a press release. 

“NWTN’s partnership with AD Ports Group’s KIZAD forms a cornerstone of our broader worldwide growth strategy by enabling us to efficiently service a wider range of consumers both in the Middle East and the wider Northern Africa and European markets,” said NWTN chairman and CEO Alan Wu, per the statement. 

The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in late 2022. 

Why it matters: The agreement is the latest example of the United Arab Emirates’ push toward green technology. On the electric car front, Dubai signed a deal in July to test electric public buses. Various state and private entities in the UAE have also announced hydrogen, ammonia, wind and solar energy projects this year. Some Emirati companies are also experimenting with waste-to-energy and carbon capture initiatives. 

The NWTN agreement is in line with the UAE’s goals to have net-zero emissions by 2050, according to the KIZAD statement. About a third of the Emirati economy is based on oil and gas at present. 

The agreement with NWTN also further demonstrates China’s increasing inroads into Gulf and Middle East economies. China is currently focusing on economic and energy partnerships with the region, economist Howard J. Shatz wrote for Al-Monitor PRO in June. 

Relatedly, NWTN recently moved its headquarters from the People’s Republic to Dubai. In June, Abu Dhabi signed an industrial cooperation agreement with China’s Shandong province. 

Elsewhere in the region, Saudi oil giant Aramco signed a cooperation deal with a Chinese oil company in August focused on carbon capture and hydrogen energy. The same month, Egypt inked a training agreement with the major Chinese tech company Huawei. 

The Chinese government exerts a considerable amount of control over private companies. 

Know more: Electric vehicles are appealing to consumers because they do not emit carbon dioxide while being driven, which has environmental benefits — not to mention the savings on gas money. However, electric vehicles themselves can be harmful to the environment due to the energy and rare earth minerals required to produce them, among other issues. 

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

Text Alerts - Be the first to get breaking news, exclusives, and PRO content.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial