Dubai Emerges as the New Technological Hub

Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, Dubai’s technology industry has grown tremendously. It is credited to its proactive approach to dealing with it. The emirate kept its borders open, ran aggressive vaccination drives, implemented new visa rules, and other programmes that attracted a growing number of tourists and overseas workers. Concurrently, the emirate also made its business environment appealing to technology investors through low taxes and relatively little corporate regulation.

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The pandemic has exposed the economy’s vulnerability and its strong reliance on overseas travel. It has motivated Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and his administration to further strengthen its effort to turn the emirate into the biggest tech hub, taking a more aggressive approach to rebuilding the emirate as a worldwide powerhouse for tech and innovation.

To do this, Dubai Securities and Exchange Higher Committee has launched a Dh1 billion ($272.3 million) Future District Fund to support technology companies and encourage them to list on the emirate’s stock market. The Fund will help support Dubai’s digital economy and projects using the latest technology and develop the economic sectors of the future. It aims to establish 1,000 digital companies in Dubai in the next five years and increase investment in start-ups to Dh4bn, from Dh1.5bn.

The Fund is strategically positioned to attract tech start-ups from around the globe that can develop innovative solutions for future local, regional, and global challenges. To achieve its objectives, the Fund will leverage emerging technologies, such as AI, cybersecurity, blockchain, data analytics, software-as-a-service (SaaS)/platform-as-a-service (PaaS), cloud solutions, 5G, IoT, augmented reality, and robotics.

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed said: “Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to support the digital economic sector, we launched today the AED1 billion Dubai Future District Fund to invest in start-ups.” 

He added: “The Fund aims to realize the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to establish 1,000 tech companies in the next five years, by supporting Dubai’s digital economy and companies that adopt future technologies and develop new economic sectors of the future.” 

The Dubai Future District Fund seeks to build an innovation-driven start-up ecosystem to enhance the global competitiveness of Dubai’s future economy. As part of its mandate, it will invest in a range of key initiatives, including Dubai Future Accelerators, DIFC FinTech Hive, and Venture Builder Studios. 

  • Dubai Future Accelerators facilitates the dynamic collaboration between start-ups, private entities, and government to work on prespecified challenges relevant to the future. 
  • DIFC FinTech Hive is the first and largest financial technology accelerator in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region.
  • Venture Builder Studios, also called start-up studio, start-up factory, or venture studio, is an organization that builds start-ups using their ideas and resources. 

Dubai provides unrivalled access to the world’s fastest-growing economies as an innovation hub bridging the East and the West. Its leadership consciously focuses on supporting and adopting emerging technologies that will be integral to the future, driving new technology investments and making Dubai the new tech hub.

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