Sci & Tech

Research Tech Park Plan for Hendurabi Island

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The park aims to provide space for researchers to work on their projects.
The park aims to provide space for researchers to work on their projects.

A technology and science park has been proposed for the Persian Gulf Island of Hendurabi following a recent visit of top government officials including the president’s brother, Hussein Fereydoun, who visited the undeveloped desert island.

The plan for the proposed technology park is expected to welcome dozens of research teams and tech firms according to the secretary of the High Council of Free Zones, Akbar Torkan, who led the delegation.

This project could be one of the most ambitious by the Rouhani administration - - setting the stage for the Persian Gulf’s only dedicated technology and science island.

Hendurabi island in Hormuzgan Province, which is under the jurisdiction of the neighboring Kish Free Trade Zone Organization (KFTZO) has an area of 22 square kilometers and is situated 28Km west of Kish Island.

The island’s name is derived from the Persian word Andar-Abi meaning “inside the waters.”

The proposed park aims to provide space for researchers to work on their projects and will be a hub for international connections for local researchers; IRNA quoted Torkan as saying earlier in the week.

Along with the minister of cooperatives, labor and social welfare and the head of the State Welfare Organization (SWO), Torkan was visiting Kish Island to inaugurate the SWO’s new health center building on the island for locals and visitors.

Torkan, a senior advisor to the government, added that reports had been submitted to President Hassan Rouhani on how far projects for completing the island’s multi-purpose sea port and airport have progressed.

“With presidential approval more projects can be launched on the Island,” he said without elaboration.

Without naming the companies, he said Iranian and German architecture groups are in charge of the two projects. “The area is now ready for the construction of residential complexes.”

Unlike Kish, which has emerged as a major tourist attraction over the past two decades, “there are no plans to turn Hendurabi into a commercialized tourism center.”

 On the Cards for a While

The plans for Hendurabi have been in the offing for the past few years, according to several blogs. While at the proposed site, Torkan and Fereydoun observed a new wharf and the beginnings of what would be a new airport tower for the island.

Before this year’s rush to development, Hendurabi remained inaccessible with only some scattered local residents.

Due to its proximity to the mainland, barely 8kms away, and the new wharf, building the technology park should pick up speed in the coming months because hauling construction machinery and building materials will be much easier.

 Technology Helps

Development and coming on stream will be a relatively long-term undertaking. However, certain issues like telecoms infrastructure for online business can be easily overcome with the introduction of 3G/4G mobile internet coverage that now trumps traditional ADSL.

The Rouhani administration is a strong proponent of expanding and speeding up the distribution of mobile internet technology as it has helped increase revenues of companies who use it.

Authorities in charge of developing the island are aware that in the modern day and age, they need to attract foreign investment. With that in mind there is a website dedicated to inform investors along with technology and science research firms. However, the website could do better with more data and detail.

The site is also a haven for marine research, with the thousands of sea life calling the area home.  

Broadening the scale and scope of activities on the Persian Gulf island is reminiscent of Kish almost a quarter century ago, but with  a difference. Whereas Kish is focused on education and universities, the idea to hand over Hendurabi to science and technology firms gives hope that up and running industries would boost the research community in the south of the country.

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