Dubai strengthens position as global destination of choice for businesses
The Capital Club regularly holds in depth discussions around several key topics such as sustainability, climate change, and the green economy
Dubai has handled the Covid-19 crisis particularly well, and recognises that the pandemic has reiterated the critical need for retaining talent, innovating business models, and the importance of the expat community’s contribution towards the economic growth of the city, said Mohamed Karmaoui, general manager of Capital Club Dubai.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Karmaoui noted that the UAE has built up its economy and reputation over the last 50 years, ranking 16th with a score of 80.9/100 on the World Bank’s 2020 Ease of Doing Business Index. Though a relatively short rise to success, this did not happen overnight, and it has taken time to really understand the unique dynamics of the private sector predominantly run by an expatriate community, he said.
“From our interactions with both the government and private sector at the club, we know that the government continues to engage with the private sector, to better understand the issues on the ground and the need to constantly review important laws, with the aim to enhance its competitiveness and to facilitate doing business,” he said.
With its clear first-mover advantage as the regional business hub, some of the newly launched policies include the 100 per cent onshore ownership of foreign companies, easing of visa restrictions, including different variations of residency permits, incentives for SMEs and a new insolvency law to help UAE residents clear bad debts.
Furthermore, he pointed out that there is an active participation to build an entrepreneur friendly ecosystem where startups and SMEs can grow and thrive, with support for many incubators, accelerators, and investments increasing in the country. In the first half of 2020, FDI worth Dh12 billion was injected into 190 projects and a capital of Dh739 million for startups flowed into Dubai.
Karmaoui also highlighted the role that the Capital Club has played as it evolved over the years. The club is a premier members-only club located in the heart of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and is a meeting ground for Dubai’s prominent business leaders to network professionally, dine, socialize, and host private meetings. “The Capital Club will always be a work in progress, as we adapt to the emerging priorities of its members. The club enables a comprehensive knowledge base, matches and curates thought-provoking material, relevant business forums, and introductions for its members in order to become the Middle East’s and global voice of business.”
Looking ahead, Karmaoui noted that the Capital Club is holding in depth discussions around several key topics such as sustainability, climate change, and the green economy. “We have a government working committee who engage with us and recommend topics worth tackling that are aligned with the long-term vision of the UAE. Through these discussions with industry experts, we produce reports that give significant insights on the relevant topics.”
He added that the club is working with various government ministries and industry experts, to align, enable and facilitate the right relevant dialogues, on long-term partnerships. There are also plans to launch a few initiatives from within the club to create greater reach and impact.
“We firmly believe that for any long-term impact for transformation in any industry, society or sector, collaborations and partnerships are key, at many levels. From public private partnerships (PPP) to multistakeholder collaborations, we do hope that this trend will not only continue but grow and accelerate regionally and globally. There are many opportunities for a nation like the UAE to become a serious global leader, through collaborative initiatives, in the region and the world,” Karmaoui said.
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