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Knowledge and innovation to remain Dubai’s priority- Sheikh Hamdan

Knowledge and innovation to remain Dubai’s priority- Sheikh Hamdan

A new report produced by the global publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG) highlights the latest developments in Dubai’s drive to create a knowledge-based economy.

The Report: Dubai 2016 maps out the milestones that are paving the way for the emirate’s economic development, including the introduction of the Dubai Open Data Law and the launch of the Dubai Smart City initiative.

With aims that include higher spending to stimulate economic growth and job creation, Dubai’s 2016 budget is another key focus in OBG’s latest publication. The Report: Dubai 2016 explores the emirate’s plans to boost foreign investment through new legislation governing public-private partnerships (PPPs), along with other major economic reforms. The introduction of subsidy cuts and taxes are among the other measures implemented that are also analysed.

OBG’s report provides detailed coverage of the sectors that have been drivers of Dubai’s broader economic diversification and helped the emirate to weather lower global oil prices, which range from retail and Islamic financial services to tourism. In addition, it shines a spotlight on Dubai’s project pipeline, which continues to gain momentum as the World Expo 2020 draws closer.

The Report: Dubai 2016 contains an exclusive interview with Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, in which he gives his views on a wide range of topical issues, ranging from the aims of Dubai Plan 2021 to the key role earmarked for PPPs in the emirate’s development.

Commenting on the importance of remaining competitive in uncertain times, Sheikh Hamdan said it was vital for Dubai to further solidify its core strengths, cope better with shocks and prioritise knowledge and innovation. “Accordingly, Dubai aims to strengthen its global foot-print and enhance its standing as an international business centre in trade, logistics, finance and tourism,” he told OBG. “It also seeks to develop itself into the capital of the global Islamic economy.”

Regional trade and economic integration were among the subjects explored in a separate interview with Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a key partner for OBG’s report. “We are hoping to achieve smoother transitions of goods, people and services between the GCC states,” Buamim told OBG. “Using technology to streamline Customs procedures and clearance should be integrated in a coherent way within all member states.”

Other personalities interviewed exclusively by OBG in the report include: the President of the Dubai Women Establishment Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; the Chairman of Dubai Airports and Emirates NBD, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum; the Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer; the UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, Reem Al Hashimy; and the President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim.

Andrew Jeffreys, OBG’s CEO and Editor-in-Chief, said that while Dubai was not immune to the external challenges facing the region, its impressive diversification strategy implemented over time was now serving the emirate well.

“Having moved to broaden its economic base over the years, Dubai was able to achieve steady growth in 2015 at a time when low commodity prices and currency depreciations were weighing on many of the world’s emerging economies,” he said. “With a raft of mega-projects under way and initiatives to boost foreign inflows taking shape, our report points to a similarly bright outlook this year with plenty of opportunities for investors.”

OBG’s Managing Editor for the Middle East Oliver Cornock agreed that Dubai’s plans to put innovation at the heart of its economic development had paved the way for new openings in various guises across both the government and private sector.

“The year 2016 has brought several indications that change is on the way, from a significant ministerial reshuffle to the use of social media at governmental level as a means of communication,” he said. “While Dubai’s huge project roll-outs have continued to make the headlines, our report also confirms the growing contribution that knowledge and innovation are making to the emirate’s development.”

The Report: Dubai 2016 marks the culmination of a year’s worth of field research by a team of analysts from Oxford Business Group. The publication assesses trends and developments across the economy, including macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments. It is available in print and online.