Permanent residency will attract innovators to UAE

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Permanent residency will attract innovators to UAE
Aroop Zutshi, global president and managing partner at Frost & Sullivan.

dubai - They will make the emirate their permanent home and help create unicorns

By Waheed Abbas

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Published: Tue 22 May 2018, 7:09 PM

Last updated: Wed 23 May 2018, 6:33 PM

The UAE should allow permanent residency or something similar to attract innovators from around the world who will make the emirate their permanent home and help create unicorns such as Facebook and Google, said the president of a global consultancy.

"Make Dubai a place where people can make it a permanent home. Today, many people don't feel that way. Silicon Valley was created because people made it their permanent home. Innovators came there and that's how Facebook, Google and Apple were established," said Aroop Zutshi, global president and managing partner at Frost & Sullivan.

He noted that the country can offer permanent residency, or something to that effect, and there are many ways that it can be done.
"It is not that difficult. It is very important to get young people excited and commit their lives here. When good talent are ready to flex their muscles, you don't want them to get on the first plane and migrate to Canada, US, Europe and other parts of the world," the senior executive said during his recent visit to Dubai for an awards ceremony.

Create unicorns
Zutshi suggested that Dubai needs to be innovative and create unicorns because it will create the next generation of companies and help in the growth of capital markets because these firms will eventually have to go public.

"My advice to Dubai is keep innovating, embrace new technologies, keep bringing new things to this part of the world, make it easy for people to experience and leverage these technologies. And more importantly, build an ecosystem that is purely driven on meritocracy."

Zutshi says Dubai is one of the most innovative cities in the world and the first to embrace new technologies and ideas, driven by the emirate's desire to be the number one in terms of being cutting-edge.

"At the same time, to remain relevant in the ecosystem, it is a requirement for Dubai to be innovative and first in everything. It is not a choice but a requirement. The good thing is that the government and the people who drive it understand this. What I like about this part of the world, especially Dubai, is its ability to get things done. This is not a government that just talks and doesn't deliver. I see real action, real progress as opposed to a lot of conversation and desire, but nothing happening on the ground in other parts of the world."

Largest stock exchange?
On a long-term basis, Frost & Sullivan's global president said that Dubai will be transformed and stay relevant in the world of technological advancement and growth of capital markets.

"Dubai has the potential to become an economic hub and can be a great capital base. For example, Dubai could have a stock exchange that could be potentially bigger and better than other parts of the world, like Hong Kong. In a matter of four years, Hong Kong will be the number one exchange in the world, displacing New York and London bourses," he said, adding that the emirate "has potential to become the number one exchange."

He emphasised that there is no deficiency of capital or liquidity in the emirate. He said there is more funding in the world and less project initiatives. "There is more capital available in the world today and less places to deploy. Most investment banking firms and venture capital investors are struggling to find good places to invest. So, liquidity is not an issue for Dubai, both locally and internationally."

Pace the development
Zutshi advised Dubai to align the pace of development with demand and avoid going overboard, both for real estate and infrastructure development. "Pacing would be helpful. Oversupply discourages investors."

He pointed out that Dubai is more economical than many global cities and this could be another key factor attracting global talent here. "There are more expensive cities like Singapore, Hong Kong and the [financial] packages here are reasonably good. No tax is another big advantage here. People who are professionally qualified have a good quality of life in this part of the world," he added.


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