Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED), addressed businessmen and trade facilitators across a series of seminars and networking programmes recently in four major cities in the UK in a continuing push to attract investment and critical knowledge into key sectors in the emirate.

Potential investors and businessmen as well as government officials in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh were briefed by the delegation led by Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai FDI, on the opportunities arising from Dubai’s strategic growth plan as well as the best means to set up a business in Dubai.

Organised with the support of the UAE Embassy in London, the Dubai FDI mission to four of the main financial and industrial centres in the UK was the second in the last two years and sought to reinforce British participation in critical infrastructure and investment initiatives in Dubai, especially in the run-up to the Expo 2020.

“The UK has consistently remained a leading partner to Dubai and to the UAE in general, in terms of business and people-to-people contacts. Last year, UAE-UK bilateral trade was worth 12 billion pounds (67.7 billion dirhams) and our governments are now targeting to increase it to 25 billion pounds by 2020,” commented Al Gergawi.

He added the UK was also one of the top five sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Dubai last year and that Dubai remained a top destination for Britons looking for opportunities overseas.

“Dubai and the UK traded goods and services worth over seven billion dirhams in 2014. The Expo 2020 and Dubai’s increasing emphasis on innovation as a cornerstone of its economic diversification and development represents a stronger round of opportunities for British expertise and knowledge in the industrial, infrastructural and service sectors,” said Al Gergawi.

The seminars and B2B sessions in the British capital were also supported by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) office in London, London Chambers of Commerce & Industry and Reed Smith, internationally renowned law firm and business advisory services provider with which Dubai FDI recently signed a partnership.

His Excellency Abdulrahman Ghanem Al Mutaiwee, UAE Ambassador to the UK also attended the Dubai FDI seminar in London. “We specifically targeted to connect mid-sized creative companies, explaining to them the advantages of nurturing their innovation in Dubai and engaging in projects leading to Expo 2020,” said Ibrahim Ahli, Director of Investment Promotion Division at Dubai FDI.

The UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), a UK government initiative and Dubai FDI’s partner in sharing knowledge and facilitating business, supported the seminar and networking with companies in Birmingham, the largest and most populous British city outside London, as well as in Manchester.

“Dubai FDI and the British Centres of Business (BCB) initiative of UKTI together facilitated the opening of 12 British businesses in Dubai last year, five of them from the technology sector, two of them business services providers and remaining from the training, graphic design, food & beverage, surveying and creative industries,” added Ahli.

The seminar and networking programmes in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland and the largest financial centre in the UK outside London, was supported by the Scottish Development & Industry (SDI), with which Dubai FDI has a partnership for organising such events.