Dubai: The opening day of the Dubai Investment Week 2017 featured a ‘Leadership Dialogue’ in which Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World and Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, and Mohammad Al Abbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, emphasised the evolving role of Dubai as a modern, innovative and technology-driven global business hub.
“What we are attempting to do at DP World is to find innovative solutions to bridge the inefficiencies in the global supply chain. This is the age of brain power and technology. Businesses are driven by new ideas and we are committed to go after these ideas,” said Bin Sulayem.
As technology is pushing the limits of businesses, Bin Sulayem said Dubai has a clear advantage as an agile global business hub capable of accepting and adopting new technologies and ideas.
Addressing the issue of competitiveness in the age of technology disruptions, Al Abbar said the Dubai government is fully aligned to global developments in technologies in addition to encouraging businesses to embrace technology.
“As a city we want to be at the forefront of digital transformation that is changing the way in which business [is] conducted,” said Al Abbar.
Being a relatively young city and young country, Al Abbar said both Dubai and the UAE wield huge advantages that come from embracing positive changes.
He, however, warned stakeholders to be patient as far as the global and regional political and economic changes impacting local businesses.
“We faced the global financial crisis, a number of geopolitical tensions. We should be prepared for ups and down in the future,” Al Abbar said.
The event yesterday also featured three insight panels. The first was addressed by Aisha Miran, assistant secretary-general of the Strategic Management and Governance Sector in The Executive Office, Dubai; Najeeb Al Ali, executive director of Expo 2020 Dubai; and Raed Safadi, chief economic adviser of Dubai Economy, as they joined Fahad Al Gergawi to discuss the Dubai Advantage.
Rudolph Lohmeyer, vice-president of AT Kearney, moderated the second panel in which Arjen Radder, CEO of Philips Middle East & Turkey; Joseph Hepworth, Middle East director at OCO Global; and Mohammad Yaqoub, assistant director-general of Business Development at the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority, shared their views in a talk titled ‘Strategic Investment Opportunities: Regional drive towards economic diversification and innovation.’
The third panel titled ‘From Disruption to Growth: Investing in a digital future’ had Andreas Dressler, managing director of the FDI Centre; Fadi Salem, director of Research & Advisory at the Mohammad Bin Rashid School of Government; Younus Al Nasser, assistant director-general at the Smart Dubai Office and CEO of the Dubai Data Establishment; Sam Blatteis, CEO of The Mena Catalyst Inc, and Brittany McDonough, director of Global Partnerships at MassChallenge, as speakers.