Dubai set to become trading and smart manufacturing centre despite global challenges

Dubai: A Global Trading and Smart Manufacturing Hub Despite Global Challenges

Dubai is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and despite global challenges, it’s well on its way to becoming a global center for finance, trade, and advanced manufacturing. The government officials say they aim to double the size of Dubai’s economy over the next decade.

Dubai has invested heavily in its infrastructure, including top-notch ports and last-mile logistics capabilities. Its strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa provides excellent opportunities for businesses to expand globally, according to Dubai Chambers chairman Abdulaziz Al Ghurair.

Mr. Al Ghurair pointed out, “Despite global challenges, Dubai is still the world’s fastest-growing economy. Our unrivaled connectivity makes Dubai one of the world’s leading hubs for trade and logistics.”

Dubai is also rapidly growing as a financial center and continues to attract investors. Greenfield projects in the emirate alone have brought in $5.7 billion in foreign direct investment during the first half of this year.

As the commercial, tourism, financial, and trading center of the Middle East, Dubai is following an ambitious D33 roadmap that aims to place it among the world’s top cities in terms of economic strength by 2033.

This economic plan includes 100 transformative projects with an economic target of Dh32 trillion ($8.7 trillion). This includes doubling foreign trade to Dh25 trillion over the next decade and increasing foreign direct investment in Dubai’s economy to $177 billion over the next 10 years through digital transformation, adding Dh100 billion annually.

Helal Al Marri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, explained, “When looking at D33, the first thing to understand is global trends, to look at what we’re seeing here in Dubai in the context of what’s happening in the world. We’ve seen great momentum across many industry sectors, including new industries, technology, high tech, and digitalization. Growth has come from entrepreneurship and government initiatives, as well as large multinationals setting up technology bases here.”

Growing the manufacturing sector is a key part of Dubai’s economic development plan. However, Dubai is focusing on smart manufacturing that relies on robotics and automation, as opposed to heavy manufacturing that has environmental drawbacks.

Dubai’s economy has been booming due to strong trade and tourism, with a 2.8% annual growth to Dh111.3 billion ($30.3 billion) in the first quarter, as of official data released in August. It is projected to grow by 3.5% in 2023, following a 4.4% expansion last year, according to Emirates NBD.

In September, business activity in Dubai’s non-oil private sector economy remained robust, with the highest sales growth in more than four years, reflecting improved demand.

Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq highlighted how Dubai’s economic ambitions are in line with the UAE’s wider growth plans, aimed at building a knowledge-based, greener, and more sustainable economy. He mentioned that government measures have improved the resilience of the UAE’s economy despite challenges such as inflation, monetary policy uncertainty, and slowing global economic growth.

Mr. bin Touq added that the UAE’s economy grew by 3.7% annually in the first half of the year, primarily due to strong non-oil sector growth, aligned with diversification goals.

On Wednesday, Dubai also launched a Dh500 million venture capital fund aimed at further promoting the development of technology businesses in the emirate.

Oraseya Capital, the new venture capital arm of Dubai Integrated Economic Zones, will invest in start-ups from pre-seed to series B stages to help them grow in Dubai and beyond, following Dubai’s D33 agenda, according to DIEZ executive chairman Mohammed Al Zarooni.

The economic development agenda aims to support 30 private sector companies in achieving unicorn status, which means a valuation of more than $1 billion.

Mr. Al Ghurair concluded, “Dubai offers a dynamic and supportive environment for entrepreneurs, a multicultural and high-skilled talent pool, and helps start-ups attract the funding they need.”

Publish Date: Tue 31 Oct 2023


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