Abu Dhabi Looks to Become Pharma Hub After Sinopharm Deal

Abu Dhabi is looking to transform itself into a pharmaceutical hub, with a goal to help distribute billions of vaccine doses.

“Our target for the future is to make Abu Dhabi a pharmaceutical center” and a “hub for life sciences,” Abu Dhabi Ports Chairman Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi said at a virtual event on Monday. “We are building our airport, our capacity, our infrastructure and all our processes to achieve that target.”

The comments come after the United Arab Emirates, of which Abu Dhabi is the capital, become the first nation in the U.S-allied Gulf to set up a coronavirus vaccine production facility, boosting its efforts to become a supply hub to the Middle East and beyond.

Sinopharm CNBG and Abu Dhabi-based G42 said on Sunday they aim to produce up to 200 million doses annually at a plant that will become operational this year. G42 Group CEO Peng Xiao later told Bloomberg the company is talking to over 20 countries in the region “who are very interested in accessing the vaccine.”

Al Ahbabi said Abu Dhabi Ports can deliver 18 billion doses of vaccine in an area populated by 3.5 billion people. The company is part of the Hope Consortium, a logistics grouping with the capacity to distribute more than six billion doses.

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