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Dubai FDI taps opportunities in food and agribusiness, technology and healthcare

reporters@khaleejtimes.com Filed on June 7, 2021
Ibrahim Ahli, director of investment promotion department, Dubai FDI.

Dubai remains an important gateway to the region’s emerging markets.


The Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI) has connected with potential investors and partners from various regions of the world including North America, Europe, South Asia, Asia Pacific, and the Far East to explore opportunities in the strategic sectors of food and agribusiness, technology, and healthcare.

Maintaining the digital outreach and engagement strategy adopted during the Covid-19 restrictions on in-person missions, the webinars have become an effective platform for stakeholders to continue exploring foreign direct investment (FDI) opportunities in Dubai’s strategic sectors.

Ibrahim Ahli, director of investment promotion department, Dubai FDI, said: “The UAE shares a strong trade and investment partnership with multiple countries across the world. At the same time, our leadership has a strategic vision that has prioritised public health along with business continuity during the challenging pandemic phase. Focused discussions between potential investors, the Dubai FDI team, and key public and private sector partners have helped us present the Dubai Advantage globally via webinars to maintain the city’s positioning as one of the world’s top attractors of FDI.”

Investment partners from China, India, Australia, USA (specifically New York City), Spain, and Italy engaged with government and organisational presenters to advance trade and investment opportunities during the first quarter of 2021.

The Dubai Advantage webinar with Chinese investors covering the food and agribusiness and technology sectors took place on January 12, 2021. Organised in partnership with the Dubai (DIFC) branch of ICBC Bank, it was supported by Smart Dubai and Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA). Meanwhile, Indian and Australian investors participated in a webinar on January 20, 2021 on opportunities in Dubai’s Healthcare and Technology sectors, organised by Dubai FDI strategic Partner Musthafa & Almana and supported by Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Smart Dubai.

The Dubai Advantage in the Technology sector was shared with investors from New York City on February 3, 2021 in a webinar organised with the international law firm Baker Botts and supported by Smart Dubai, Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and the US-UAE Business Council.

Italian investors focused on the food and agribusiness sector for Campania Region in a webinar held on February 16, 2021 organised in partnership with Dubai FDI strategic partner Francesco Corbello and supported by Dubai Municipality and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). Dubai FDI also presented the Dubai Advantage in the Food & Agribusiness sector on March 16, 2021 to potential investors in Spain in partnership with DMCC and Extenda.

Dubai has positioned itself as the city of the future with the ultimate goal of enhancing stakeholder happiness. At the same time, Dubai remains an important gateway to the region’s emerging markets, while its advanced infrastructure positions it as a global hub for trade and investment. This messaging, along with relevant information about the attractiveness of specific sectors and the ease of setting up and doing business in Dubai, was conveyed to participants through presentations by the Dubai Government agencies as well as the Dubai FDI team. Participating investors were also given the opportunity to ask the presenters questions at a one-on-one level.

Ahli added: “The ongoing participation of key government organisations in these virtual missions presents a holistic view of Dubai’s investment ecosystem. We work together as partners toward the future growth of Dubai.”

The Food and Agribusiness discussions centred on Dubai’s focus on developing a robust food and agriculture ecosystem as an effective counter to potential international supply chain disruptions, particularly due to Covid-19 restrictions. As a major re-export centre, Dubai maintains excellent facilities for fresh produce and continues to focus on strategically targeted investments and policies to strengthen the ecosystem. Research and development into agricultural technologies that offer a variety of crops and yields continues to be an area of focus.

In the Technology sector, Dubai is one of the world’s prime movers in implementing the emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and incubating high-technology startups. It is one of the first cities in the world to utilise the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and machine learning, blockchain, financial technologies (fintech), and HealthIT. Along with these, Dubai focuses on 3D printing, cybersecurity, and geographic information systems (GIS).

A steadily increasing population and strategic focus on medical tourism make Dubai an attractive proposition for healthcare investment. Opportunities include Centres of Excellence in specialisations, such as, cardiology, neurology, and rehabilitation. The production of generic pharmaceuticals; production, sales, and service of medical devices; and medical education continue to be areas of focus for investment in Dubai.

The efficacy of Dubai FDI’s investor outreach programme, which went virtual in the first half of 2020, is evident from Dubai’s exceptional performance in attracting high-quality FDI. As a leading global FDI destination, Dubai recorded 455 FDI projects worth $24.7 billion in 2020, according to data from the Dubai FDI Monitor, which uses the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) methodology to track FDI data.

Dubai continued to rank among the top global FDI locations in 2020, ranking 1st in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in attracting both FDI projects and capital, and 3rd and 4th globally in attracting greenfield FDI projects and greenfield FDI capital, respectively, according to the Financial Times’ fDi Markets, the leading global source of data on greenfield FDI. The 2020 FDI performance reaffirms Dubai’s strong FDI location fundamentals as well as its economic resilience, sectoral diversity, and FDI future-readiness.

— business@khaleejtimes.com

Staff Reporter





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