Dubai – MENA Herald: Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED), today launched the first cycle of the Dubai Investment Forum.
A strategic initiative that is part of Dubai’s investor outreach and growth plans, the Dubai Investment Forum is aimed at providing investors with insights on existing, new and emerging investment opportunities across several key growth sectors in the Emirate.
His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, who attended the inauguration, commended the importance of communication between investors and government institutions, and lauded the efforts of Dubai FDI in attracting international companies to the emirate of Dubai.
His Highness stressed that such meetings support Dubai government’s efforts to promote the business sector, drive investment and economic development opportunities and further underline Dubai’s position as a global trade and investment hub, and a vital player in the development of the global economy.
HE Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED, stressed the success of Dubai’s growth and its various initiatives to attract foreign investment in his address at the Forum.
“Dubai’s economy has grown at an average rate of over 4 per cent annually from 2012-2014, despite the slow growth of the global economy. A key reason for Dubai’s resilience has been the emphasis we place on economic diversification. Today, Dubai’s economy is much more diversified than 2008-2009, and the dramatic transformation of Dubai’s economy that started in the early 70s is now entering a new level,” said HE Al Qamzi.
HE Al Qamzi added: “The highlight of the structural transformation that Dubai underwent over the last few decades is the city’s evolution as a trade, investment, services and knowledge hub. Its state-of-the-art infrastructure and business-friendly regulations, along with a demonstrated ability to adapt to investor needs and changing global economic patterns, have set Dubai apart among regional and international hubs”.
“Dubai has the proven capacity to connect trade and people across six continents with the minimum lead time,” added HE Al Qamzi. “The superior logistics infrastructure of Dubai continues to cut transit times and inventory costs, enabling businesses to focus on growth and expansion into new markets. More importantly, infrastructure development and policy reforms in Dubai clearly address investor needs and encourage public sector participation. Dubai is today at the threshold of a new era of public-private participation in major infrastructure projects, especially in the run-up to the Expo 2020”.
The opening session of the Forum on ‘Opportunities for Growth, Partnership and Innovation’ focused on how Dubai’s leadership vision, strategy and investments in current and future infrastructure projects create unique opportunities for growth, partnership and innovation and in making Dubai a pivotal hub in the global economy. The participants included H.E. Hussain Lootah, Director General, Dubai Municipality; H.E. Saeed Al Tayer, Managing Director& Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA); H.E. Humaid Al Qatami, Chairman, Dubai Health Authority (DHA); and H.E. Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman, Dubai Aviation City Corporation.
Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, said: “The Dubai Investment Forum aimed to develop a roadmap for investment and economic growth and to help evolve corporate strategies that will further accelerate regional and global capital inflow into Dubai. The Forum led to smart solutions to enhance ease of doing business in Dubai, to weather economic challenges and to support future strategies of investors.”
“The Forum enabled Dubai-based companies to enhance operational efficiencies and secure access to international markets,” said Al Gergawi. “Several direct meetings were held alongside the Forum that brought together investors and government representatives to explore the potential expansion of their businesses beyond Dubai and the optimal means for sourcing required capital for such expansion.”
A panel discussion on ‘Dubai’s new investment landscape’ was led by Matthieu De Clercq, Partner, Oliver Wyman, which shed light on the key initiatives shaping the new investment opportunities landscape in Dubai. It discussed the central theme of how investors can engage and map out pathways for successful future investments. The panelists included Abdulla Rafia, Asst. DG, Engineering & Planning Department, Dubai Municipality; Abdul Muhsin Younis, CEO of Strategy and Corporate Development, Roads & Transport Authority; Dr. Layla Al Marzouqi, Director of Health Regulation Department, Dubai Health Authority; Ala’A Al-Bawab, Regional Head – Public Sector, Cisco; and Arjen Radder, Chief Executive Officer, Philips Middle East and Turkey.
A session on ‘Driving Growth through Innovation’ presented views on cross-sector innovation and discussed how Innovation is set to create unprecedented investment opportunities in service delivery across all key economic sectors. The panelists included: Fahad al Gergawi; Huda Al Hashimi, Executive Director, Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation; Arjen Radder; Sanjay Sethi, Managing Director, Public Sector Group, Citibank; and Zaid Maleh, Chief Executive Officer, Dach Advisory. The discussion was led by Dr. Anil Khurana, Partner- Strategy & Innovation, PWC.
Led by Maarten Wolfs, Partner, Middle East Infrastructure Finance Leader, PwC, a session on ‘Dubai PPP Investment Outlook’ focused on Dubai’s new PPP Law and how investors and operators with global experience in PPP projects have explored the advantages PPPs create for investors as well as the outlook for new ventures and investment opportunities in social infrastructures and service delivery. The panelists included: Lucas Houtvast, Chief Executive Officer , Engie – Energy South Asia, Middle East & Africa; Mario Salameh, Project & Infrastructure Finance Leader, HSBC Middle East; Jesus Sancho, Chief Executive Officer, Acciona Infrastructure Middle East; Joss Dare, Partner, Middle East Projects Leader, Ashurst LLP; and Tarek Jundi, Managing Director- Corporate & Business Development , Serco Middle East.
“The Dubai 2021 Plan and the UAE Vision 2021 have provided new momentum to Dubai’s strategy to grow sustainably and reinforce its position as the global hub for an expanding regional market. In addition, the fast-evolving infrastructure and policy environment in Dubai enable the city to assert its added value and potential as a business hub,” added Al Gergawi.
At the Forum, Dubai FDI also signed MoU with Philips Middle East & Africa, to consult, cooperate and exchange information in areas of mutual interest that will further their respective strategic interests and objectives.
The strategic partners of the Forum were: Dubai Municipality, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, Roads & Transport Authority, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai South, Dubai Media Inc, Oliver Wyman, Philips Healthcare and PWC. The supporters were: Bloomberg Businessweek, Invest and Vision. CNBC Arabia was the media sponsor.