Growing momentum behind Dubai’s digital economy is expected to modernise the emirate’s key sectors and support the development of emerging industries, according to public and private sector stakeholders speaking at the Future Growth Forum in Dubai.
The high-level forum, organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and hosted at the Dubai World Trade Centre, was attended by over 500 participants representing 24 sectors that are key contributors to Dubai’s economy, including UAE ministers, government officials, business leaders and representatives from multinational companies operating in Dubai.
The live event featured keynotes speeches from H.E. Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020, and H.E. Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, and Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy.
Following the first plenary session, participants took part in 24 breakout sessions, each tackling existing market challenges and opportunities, as well as recommendations for driving sustainable economic growth and reducing the cost of doing business in Dubai.
The Future Growth Forum was initiated following the recent directives of H.H.Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, to reduce government-related procedures for businesses by 30 percent over the next three months.
Attendees represented companies of all sizes and sectors, including businesses operating in the digital space and cybersecurity, the industrial sector, food and beverage, retail, travel and tourism, vehicle manufacturing, health care education, aviation, gold and jewellery, and logistics and maritime, among several others.
H.E Al Hashimyand H.E Al Olama discussed emerging areas of the economy that are expected to be instrumental in driving future growth for Dubai in the short and long-term. The keynote speeches were followed by breakout sessions that explored various high-potential opportunities that can be evaluated by government entities.
In her keynote address, H.E Reem Al Hashimy shared new details about the key features and advantages for businesses at the forth coming Expo 2020 Dubai and explained how the mega event will accelerate Dubai’s economy recovery and draw the world’s attention to the emirate.
“The Expo Business Programme has therefore been designed to help reconnect the business world, in order to deliver real-world opportunities for future business growth,” she said, highlighting the three Global Business Forums organised at Expo 2020 Dubai in partnership with the Dubai Chamber, that will focus on the economic outlook of the fast-growing regions of Africa, ASEAN and LATAM.
“To access more than 190 markets on all continents – to explore technological advancements while reconnecting with your peers at world-class business events…to engage with government leaders and partner with the wider UAE ecosystem; these are all unprecedented opportunities, all in one place, and all at one time” she added, referring to the upcoming mega event.
For his part, H.E Omar bin Sultan Al Olama described the UAE’s vision for a future centred on a digital economy, with new policies and initiatives being put into place to boost the contribution of the digital economy to the national economy, promote smart infrastructure, and enhance the digital readiness of the UAE government to ensure business continuity. He also spoke about how Dubai’s focus on digitalisation had enabled it to minimise the economic impact of the corona virus.
“One of the major factors that aided Dubai’s response to the pandemic is its commitment to digitalisation. Whether it is the Internet of Things or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Dubai has been at the forefront of adopting the latest technologies, which have benefited all sectors of the economy – from retail to logistics to trade. Dubai’s leadership has been prioritising digital transformation and innovation many years before Covid-19 disrupted the world,” H.E. Al Olama said.
“Now, Dubai is entering a new phase of development that is being primarily driven by digital technologies and innovation. The establishment of the Dubai Digital Authority – tasked with positioning Dubai as the first digital economic capital in the world – is a bold step that will seek to digitalise all aspects of life in the emirate and catalyse the growth of our digital economy,” H.E. Al Olama added
“We see this forum as a prime example of the seamless and close cooperation between public and private sector stakeholders in Dubai, which remains a key factor ensuring the emirate’s economic competitiveness,” H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber, said during his welcome remarks
“At the same time, the meeting supports Dubai Chamber’s efforts to advocate on behalf of business interests, identify existing challenges facing companies and share their concerns with relevant government entities that can address them swiftly and effectively,” H.E. Buamim added.
The event concluded with remarks from H.E. Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, who presented the key findings and top recommendations from the 24 breakout sessions. The sector-focused discussions saw business representatives highlight the main areas where they would like to see the government improve its processes and procedures. He drew special attention to the huge opportunity outlined by participants to modernise and streamline government services by adopting cutting-edge digital solutions that can save businesses time and money and further improve ease of doing business in Dubai.
The findings from The Future Growth Forum will be analysed by Dubai Chamber and formally communicated to the Dubai Government to help with policy formation and executive decision-making.