Sunday 28, February 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai Tourism has commissioned “Destination Innovation: Where Next?” – a dynamic multimedia hub featuring quarterly content to support multinational companies around the opportunities and challenges of running a global business.

The hub, launched by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and supported by Dubai Chamber, is part of a move to further enhance the sharing of best practises and learning from around the world to further supplement corporations and business leaders’ decision making with in-depth research, case studies and insightful discussion.

The initiative also helps showcase Dubai’s status as a leading business destination, which is being further supported by the government’s commitment to continuously build on the emirate’s competitiveness through stimulated investments in infrastructure expansion, supporting innovative content creation and regulatory levers.

The content rich site, which can be found at, features short documentaries, infographics, in-depth feature analysis and visualisations. Running for the next 12 months, it will be regularly updated with new content spanning the themes of innovation, geographical expansion, market access strategies and alternative energy. It will feature the views of business executives and experts, along with the EIU’s unrivalled insights.

Commenting on the partnership, H.E Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said: “In an ever more global and interconnected world, businesses are in constant need to evolve how they operate to adapt and flourish in a highly fluid, dynamic and increasingly more competitive market place. Through this strategic initiative, and by drawing upon the vast experience, international reach and knowledge of The Economist, we want to drive forward the debate and create dialogue, whilst also being able to share the learnings that have allowed Dubai to get to where it is today.

“The initiative is another facet to support the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minster, Ruler of Dubai, as the emirate continues to pursue a leading economic diversification philosophy and further underlines our role as a strategic networking platform for international markets to expand across the region and to spur corporates and multinationals to choose the emirate as the place to do business for the wider region and beyond.”

According to H.E Hamad Buamim, President & CEO, Dubai Chamber: “The portal is in line with our strategy of supporting the development of business by providing market intelligence to help investors make informed business decisions. This initiative also demonstrates our support to Dubai Plan 2021 by reinforcing the emirate’s position as an international business hub and a global player in the fields of trade, logistics, finance and Islamic economy. For decision-makers and business owners, this portal will be a one-stop-shop to access the latest information and insights about Dubai thereby promoting its favourable business environment and positioning the emirate as a gateway to the Middle East and Africa region.”

A number of key strategic features have gone live for the site’s launch, focussing on the theme of innovation clusters.

Innovation Clusters: Understanding Life Cycles is a briefing document that identifies the six success factors driving innovation clusters across five countries, namely the UK, India, USA, Estonia and Singapore. It explores how innovation clusters first emerged in these markets, what interplay of forces made them spring up in the first place and how they have changed over time. The report and case studies find that innovation clusters are sensitive to factors like migration policies, property prices and livability, all of which change over time, with knock-on effects on the fortunes of entrepreneurs and companies.

The accompanying short documentary interviews experts at the London School of Economics, techUK, London Business School and Bocconi University about the role multinationals play in global innovation clusters

The EIU also published ‘Where next?’ – a survey asking 150 executives what the selection criteria and process are for choosing new markets when expanding globally. While there is a long list of attributes that multinationals take into consideration, including infrastructure, skills and the business environment, what is less clear is how they weigh each factor in relation to the others. Is connectivity more important than skills? Can a stable regulatory environment for business compensate for weak infrastructure?

One of the key findings is that ‘cheap labour’ no longer appears to be an important factor for multinationals. The availability of local talent is now much more important, as commercial value is increasingly derived from knowledge-based activities. A strong local skillset was viewed by 56 per cent of respondents as the most important attribute, after ‘growth potential’, in guiding decisions about entering a new market. The presence of ‘low cost labour’, on the other hand, was a dominant factor for just 14 per cent of respondents.

Monica Woodley, EIU’s EMEA Editorial Director for Thought Leadership, said: “This hub is geared to serve the needs and interests of senior decision-makers at multinational companies, to be a place they can turn to for fresh ideas, useful case studies and expert insight on the issues most important to them. Finding new markets, managing a globally dispersed workforce, staying innovative as you grow and harnessing your resources efficiently are just a few of the challenges we’ll be exploring through the new multimedia platform”.