Abu Dhabi Airports subsidiary Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone Authority has signed an agreement with Middle East General Enterprises (MGE) to support the expansion of DHL Express in the Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone (ADAFZ).

Valid for 27 years, the Musataha Agreement is a key step in the Express Integrator cluster development at the East Midfield Development Zone in the ADAFZ.

It also aligns with Abu Dhabi’s strategic logistics plan, which is the outcome of ADAFZ’s pledge to offer ‘world-class infrastructure’ to aid the expansion of cargo companies at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).

DHL Express and MGE will provide an investment of around AED365m ($99.3m) for the new facility.

Spanning over 30,000m², the DHL facility is expected to begin operations by the final quarter of 2021.

Abu Dhabi Airports CEO Bryan Thompson said: “Abu Dhabi International Airport is not only a growing regional hub for business and leisure travellers but includes cutting-edge cargo and logistics infrastructure designed to facilitate express and e-commerce.

“We are delighted to be working with DHL as we continue to enhance Abu Dhabi’s position as an international transport and logistics centre, in line with our mission of becoming the world’s leading airports group.”

DHL Express MENA CEO Nour Suliman said: “The collaboration reiterates DHL’s strategic mission to strengthen our facilities and key positions across the UAE and the wider Middle East region. In line with our long-term objectives, the new facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport is our latest investment to support global trade to and from the capital of the UAE.”

Last month, Riga International Airport in Latvia signed an agreement with DHL Latvia and Castor Construction to build a modern shipment processing and logistics centre.