DIFC Innovation Hub to drive enterprise talent across sectors

Dubai - The new facility is a key initiative aimed at generating new economic value by fostering the development of innovation.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum officially inaugurated the DIFC Innovation Hub on Tuesday. — Wam
Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum officially inaugurated the DIFC Innovation Hub on Tuesday. — Wam

By Wam

Published: Tue 25 May 2021, 10:43 PM

Last updated: Tue 25 May 2021, 10:53 PM

S heikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of the Dubai International Financial Centre, officially inaugurated the DIFC Innovation Hub located in the Gate Avenue. The facility is part of the new Dubai Future District announced in January 2020 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Sheikh Maktoum said: “The establishment of the DIFC Innovation Hub is an integral part of the strategic roadmap for realising Sheikh Mohammed’s vision for innovation-driven growth in Dubai. The new facility is a key initiative aimed at generating new economic value by fostering the development of innovation, enterprise and talent across sectors, especially in future-oriented industries. This initiative supports Dubai’s aspiration to become a leading global player in shaping the future of vital sectors and creating a thriving international innovation hub in Dubai.”

“The DIFC Innovation Hub is also a testament to Dubai’s emphasis on creating strong partnerships with players across the financial services value chain, ranging from large global corporations to promising small and medium enterprises and start-ups. Dubai seeks to constantly enhance its hard and soft infrastructure for innovators, investors and entrepreneurs from across industries to transform ideas into ventures that create enduring value. Amidst the unprecedented changes that the world is currently seeing, Dubai’s leadership continues to place a high priority on creating new models for growth and development, discovering solutions for turning crises into opportunities and advancing the horizons of technology to help usher in a bright new post-pandemic world,” he added.

Sheikh Maktoum commended DIFC’s management for contributing to Dubai’s sustainable development and economic diversification and establishing the Centre as the region’s foremost source of financial innovation. DIFC is recognised internationally as a leading global centre for fintech, and the Innovation Hub is set to play a key role in driving collaboration between early-stage and growth start-ups, tech unicorns and big tech firms to accelerate success. Members of the hub will benefit significantly from being part of DIFC, the region’s largest ecosystem of financial services related companies that are collectively shaping the future of the industry.

Sheikh Maktoum approved the expansion of the DIFC Innovation Hub, which will increase its size four-fold to over 315,000 sq. ft. In just two months, the current 80,000 sq. ft. space is being fully utilised. Over the next two years, the expansion will include the development of an additional tower linked to the existing DIFC Innovation Hub. Accommodating up to 1,000 businesses, the building will have fitted offices, co-working spaces and light F&B outlets in the concourse and fine dining outlets at the rooftop level.

Essa Kazim, governor of DIFC, and Arif Amiri, chief executive officer of DIFC Authority, briefed Sheikh Maktoum on DIFC’s comprehensive innovation proposition before touring the Innovation Hub to meet talented entrepreneurs, unicorns, visionaries, fintech pioneers and creators within the Innovation Hub.

Kazim said: “Technology and innovation are strong drivers of Dubai’s transformational growth, cementing its reputation as a global centre that attracts capital and talent.”

Dubai has created a global model for accelerating technology innovation and promoting a culture of entrepreneurship that fosters the development of a new ecosystem of opportunities for tech innovators and investors.

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said: “As the nation prepares for the Next 50, it is strategically imperative that we create robust platforms that support digital-first, innovative ventures that contribute value to the future economy. DIFC Innovation Hub serves as the definitive destination for nurturing the next unicorns from our region, while helping build a strong fintech sector and creating new jobs for talented professionals.” — business@khaleejtimes.com

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