Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence; Sami Al Qamzi, Director-General of Dubai Economy; and Humaid Al Qutami, director-general of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) follow proceedings at Dubai Investment Week 2018 on Monday. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Dubai is fast emerging as the top global destination for investment in future transformation with focus on smart technologies and research and development, which are the priorities set under the UAE National Agenda and Dubai Plan 2021 according to government officials and delegates speaking at the Dubai Investment Week 2018.

FDI that poured into Dubai in first half, up 26% year on year

“Government is committed to building infrastructure and the right environment for attracting global investment in smart technologies. The recent investment trends in Dubai indicates the direction of global investments with more than 60 per cent of the investments concentrated in medium to hi-tech industries,” said Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI).

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Dubai reached $4.84 billion (Dh17.78 billion) in the first half of 2018, a 26 per cent increase compared to last year. While the number of FDI projects increased by 40 per cent to 248 in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, there is a clear trend towards investments in areas such as new technologies, especially in sectors such as education and health care.

“An open economic policy framework has been the hallmark of Dubai. Businesses are treated as partners in achieving economic goals. The government has always been very responsive to the pains of businesses be it cyclical or structural. The willingness to work closely with the businesses has seen a number of reforms in the form of fee and fine waivers, increased government procurements from small and medium enterprises that will incentivise this sector by about Dh2 billion,” said Raed Safadi, Chief Economic Advisor, Dubai Economy.

year-on-year increase in Dubai’s FDI projects in first half to 248

Safadi said the 100 per cent business ownership law is in the final stages and it will be announced shortly that will significantly boost FDI into Dubai and the UAE. Analysts said opening most sectors to 100 per cent foreign ownership would provide a significant medium-term boost to FDI, especially, given the low tax base, convenient geographic location and high level of infrastructure that the UAE offers, it will be focused on industries deemed essential to the economy regarding elements such as job creation and technology transfer.

To create conducive environment for foreign investors, the government has been working towards creating robust legal framework. “We recognise the need for a legal framework that is familiar to global investors. While efforts are made to make our legal framework compatible with other leading global jurisdictions, we are also making it accessible with ease. New technology-based legal solutions such as block-chain based court systems are being explored and the government has been very supportive of such initiatives,” said Amna Al Owais, Chief Executive and registrar, DIFC Courts.

Dubai Investment Week has seen participation from local, regional and international businesses exploring investment opportunities in Dubai. “This event is a platform to strengthen partnerships between the local and international investment community and unlock huge opportunities as the emirate bids to become one of the world’s leading cities to invest in knowledge and advanced technologies,” said Al Gergawi.

benefits to incentivise SMEs after series of government reforms

According to speakers at the event, the conducive environment for business, supported by Dubai’s unique strategic location, modern infrastructure and legislations, an incubator environment for innovation and entrepreneurship, and attractive incentives for FDI are expected drive more foreign investments into Dubai.

The Dubai Investment Week provides the private sector with opportunities to engage with leading government figures and learn more about the upcoming and established investment opportunities Dubai offers the international business community. It also serves as an avenue for the private sector to familiarise itself about the government’s strategy moving forward to 2020 and beyond.


DMCC named fDi’s Global Free Zone of the Year for 2018

Dubai: Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, UAE and Amata City Chonburi, Thailand has been awarded the top prizes in the Global Free Zones of the Year 2018. by fDi Magazine — a publication from the Financial Times.

The DMCC saw almost 2000 new businesses established in 2017. The zone finished the year with 14,805 companies and more than 61,700 employees. Some notable investments in 2017 include Saudi Arabia-based transportation and logistics company Bahri Group, which relocated to the zone’s One JLT low-rise business tower.

Major developments are planned for DMCC in the coming years, with its Uptown Dubai venture projected to created 10,000 jobs over the next decade. The zone is also developing a smart district to ensure community of the freezone (100,000 people) can live and work in a state-of-the-art environment.