Instead of spending your dollars paying for your employees’ medical insurance or airline tickets, you may be able to just trade that with another business.
A new initiative called ShareDXB launched by Dubai Economy on Tuesday aims to bring the sharing economy concept into different industries across the emirate.
According to Mohammad Al Saadi, chief executive officer for corporate strategic affairs sector in Dubai Economy, ShareDXB will highlight and bring in opportunities locally and internationally to use unutilised resources.
“You’ve got either product- or service-oriented organisations. If you create that [sharing economy] platform, and I have unutilised resources, I can upload them to that platform.
“Airlines, for example, always have unutilised capacity, so they can upload that to ShareDXB. Universities can also upload their unutilised seats on the platform…and then they can buy tickets from airlines, and in return, give airlines seats to offer to staff for education opportunities,” he said.
Sharing economy refers to the concept of peer-to-peer transactions, such as those by Airbnb, Uber and Careem, where people can share their assets including cars or apartments with others for profit.
The CEO added that a decision has not been made yet on whether that platform will be in the form of a website or an app.
Al Saadi stressed that ShareDXB will not touch companies’ existing revenue stream, but will only allow them to reduce inefficiencies from any unutilised capacity. This will also cut costs as companies will be able to exchange services with each other instead of paying separately for them.
Though companies such as Uber and Deliveroo have been carving out for themselves a larger slice of the market recently in the UAE, they still face challenges most notably because of regulations (particularly labour market regulations).
Asked about such challenges, Al Saadi said that Dubai Economy plans to send a white paper to the government suggesting a friendlier legal system to adapt to changes.
“The plan will still need to be adjusted, but 2018 will be the year of ShareDXB. We will work together with different constituents to come up with an index, regulations, policies, platform and a reward scheme. Hopefully, before the end of 2018, we will launch the event calling upon everyone worldwide to come to share their ideas to create better sharing economy,” he told Gulf News.
Al Saadi added that changes will have to be made with regards to policies and regulations to enable future growth as millennials and generation Z start to drive demand.