Sharjah FDI
Delegates speaking at the second day of the Sharjah FDI Forum 2019 explored investment opportunities in Sharjah mega-projects, media and technology related areas Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan

Dubai: Delegates speaking at the second day of the Sharjah FDI Forum 2019 explored investment opportunities in Sharjah mega-projects, media and technology related areas.

AI [artificial intelligence], 5G and Industry 4.0 are the industries of the future in a two trillion-dollar market, said Alaa Al Shimy, managing director (MD) & VP Enterprise Business, Huawei Technologies.

In his presentation titled Innovation in Future Technologies Al Shimy explained that the future of connectivity will see a world where everything is connected, from our fridge to our car, or mobile phones. These devices will connect and share cloud intelligence. Speaking about oilfields, Al Shimy said that AI now made it possible to oversee an entire oilfield remotely.

The Shurooq Youth Council initiative, in partnership with Sharjah Youth Council, brought together leading experts, entrepreneurs and officials with aspiring youth to discuss their future in the digital age.

During the discussion, Marwan Bin Jasem Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq); emphasised the need to take advantage of the latest technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to serve humanity. He pointed to some of the important experiences that have transformed the lives of peoples and several projects that had impacted society immensely.

Al Sarkal highlighted the use of drones in an African country to transport blood to remote areas blood during emergencies. This had helped save countless lives dependant on the blood and had turned out to be a cost-effective solution, leading to a new business model.


The Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa) hosted the last panel of the first day of the forum. Titled ‘The Future of High-Quality Infrastructure Development’, and moderated by Eng. Ali Abas Yousif, Manager of Projects Development, Sewa, the panel spoke about a joint project between GE Energy Financial Services and Sumitomo Corporation, which was part funded by Japan Bank for International Cooperation called the Hamriyah Independent Power Project. This will see a state of the art, technologically advanced, 1.8GW power plant built in Sharjah.

Susan Flanagan, President & CEO, GE Energy Financial Services said the project came about through the vision of Sewa. “Sewa was very clear on what they wanted. They wanted the most advanced technology solution for Sharjah that had lower emissions compared to existing technologies; ones that would create sustainable power for the future.

Once fully operational, it will be the most efficient project in the region from a field perspective; the equivalent to taking a million cars off the road. For this to happen there was a need for strong partnerships from both the public and private sector. We built an operational model that was so strong and stable, it was able to attract FDI to the project and the IPP is so exceptional, it is the ‘flagship type’ we take around the world to present globally.”

Creative industries

The last session the Forum saw Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman Sharjah Media City (Shams) introducing the Emirati Entertainment Experience Project to the audience. Hhe said the initiative was aimed at increasing Sharjah’s GDP by accelerating the growth of creative industries to an international benchmark, such as that of the US or EU, which amounts to 4 per cent of contribution.

“Funding films is a major driver in bringing investment into the country. We attract young talent, eager to get into the industry and we believe that the FDI will add value to such an offering and we look forward to those partnerships bringing opportunities in entertainment for the emirate”, said Al Midfa

Khulud Abu Homos, COO of the Emirati Entertainment Experience Project said that the media sector is the highest growing sector in the UAE and investment in media was a growing opportunity. “The project currently has 32 film crews in production, and it was the aim of the project to attract local talent into the film industry,” she said.