Dubai Future District Fund eyes over Dh25 billion assets under management in 10 years

The fund aims to raise $800 million from Dubai Inc. and private investors

by

Waheed Abbas

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Published: Wed 22 Mar 2023, 11:15 PM

Dubai Future District Fund (DFDF) aims to have $7 billion (Dh25.7 billion) assets under management (AuM) and create 185,000-plus jobs over the next 10 years, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

While speaking at the inaugural annual general meeting, Sharif El-Badawi said the fund has committed $28 million so far.


The fund, which has $200 million anchor funding from Dubai Future Foundation and DIFC, is aiming to raise another $300 million from Dubai Inc. investors to have $500 million AuM in the first half of 2023 and another $500 million from federal and private sector investors including corporate and family offices, taking AuM to $1 billion in 2024.

The fund, which is anchored by the Dubai Government and its entities, aims to set the benchmark for venture capital across emerging markets and catalyse the innovation ecosystem.


In January 2020, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, set the stage for the Dubai Future Fund by launching a Dh1 billion seed to grow venture fund in Dubai, to fund future of finance and future economies startups.

The fund, which aims to deliver commercial 3-5x returns over the next 10-15 years, will mainly support startups and fintech companies that are looking to set up bases in Dubai. it was one of the most active investors in 2022 in the first year of operations.

“We aim to tap into Dubai and UAE's growth story and reinforce growth trajectory. We’ll also look at the collaboration between the private and public sectors o drive growth in the startup ecosystem,” El-Badawi said. It will also unlock high productivity sectors through innovative companies, support diversifying economy through technological innovation and support Dubai's transformation into a future economy, he added.

“We have a comprehensive strategy, starting with UAE and slowly moving to Mena and then Measa and even international entities. In terms of allocations, we are investing 50 per cent in VC funds… We are investing in international funds that are making a presence in Dubai as there has been massive interest,” he added.

The fund will also tap advanced agricultural technology, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. "Dubai Inc have to come together as the emirate has a leading position and we need to defend this position,” El-Badawi said.


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