Gecko Robotics, a U.S. robotics firm that has developed robots capable of inspecting oil and gas and power infrastructure, announced that it is setting up a new international headquarters in the UAE under the Ministry of Economy’s landmark NextGenFDI program.
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Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, who oversees the NextGenFDI program, said Gecko’s investment supports the UAE’s mission to develop a world class, advanced technology ecosystem. “Once again, we are seeing world-leading technology make its home in the UAE. Our industrial base is seeking to integrate the tools of the Fourth Industrial revolution to improve efficiencies and boost productivity, and Gecko Robotics will be a key partner on that journey.
“The decision by the CEO of Gecko Robotics, Jake and the team, to build an international base in the UAE is testament to our business-friendly culture and the support on offer from our spectrum of stakeholders as part of the NextGenFDI initiative. We are making the UAE one of the easiest places on the planet to enter the market, find the right workforce and scale rapidly.”
Jake Loosararian, CEO and Co-Founder of Gecko Robotics, said: “As our business continues to expand across Europe and the Middle East, we see the UAE market as a critical hub to access both the manufacturing and engineering talent we need to continue to accelerate our growth. Our first employees are already settling in the UAE and we have ambitious plans to grow our footprint.”
As part of its investment in the country, the Pittsburgh-based company is looking to establish a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) that will create around 300 jobs over the next few years.
Gecko’s wall-climbing robots use specially designed sensor payloads to detect otherwise invisible damage, allowing for precision repairs and predictive maintenance. A range of companies and government agencies use Gecko’s software to extend the lifespan and efficiency of critical infrastructure including power plants, oil refineries, manufacturing facilities, and other assets.
The NextGenFDI initiative was launched by the Ministry of Economy in July, 2022, to attract digitally enabled businesses from all over the world with a package of market entry fundamentals required to launch and scale from within the UAE.
These include rapid and flexible incorporation processes, fast-track licensing, bulk visa issuances, banking facilitation and commercial and residential lease incentives. The program has been devised to accelerate the UAE’s economic diversification agenda and elevate its status as a knowledge- and innovation-based economy.
Gecko Robotics is the latest to commit to the program, joining UK tech company Gödel and food app development company Krush – with more expected in the coming weeks. ■