(Bloomberg) -- French private equity firm Ardian SAS plans to nearly double its presence in the Middle East to take advantage of opportunities arising in a region flush with cash and seeking to pour it into new projects.

The Paris-based firm wants to grow its office in the United Arab Emirates to about 30 people during next year, François-Aissa Touazi, head of the firm’s regional base in Abu Dhabi, said in an interview. The regional base was inaugurated earlier this year.

Ardian is among companies gravitating toward the UAE’s capital as it increasingly establishes itself as a financial hub and seeks to roll its oil wealth into new industries.The French firm’s staffing increase will include a dedicated team to look for investments in green hydrogen projects across the Middle East and North Africa, Touazi said. 

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Ardian is closing in on its first Middle Eastern hydrogen investment, to be made through its joint venture with Swiss infrastructure investor FiveT Hydrogen Hy24, after raising a $2 billion clean-technology fund last year.

“We are expecting to announce an interesting investment here, which is in a player that has several projects in the region and other continents,” said Pierre-Etienne Franc, chief executive officer of Hy24 and chairman of FiveT Hydrogen said. He said the deal will involve a company producing hydrogen with possibilities in ammonia exports.

The fund could announce the deal as early as next week, with the initial investment and related opportunities potentially adding up to a few hundred million dollars, Franc added without further details.

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Ardian manages about $27 billion in funds from the Middle East and North Africa and has made investments of about $8 billion in the region, Touazi said.

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