Video: Sheikh Mohammed restructures Dubai Chambers to meet Dh2 trillion external trade goal

Dubai - The move was undertaken to enhance the Emirate's position as the capital of business and finance.


Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Sat 26 Jun 2021, 2:34 PM

Last updated: Sun 27 Jun 2021, 4:43 PM

Dubai on Saturday announced structural changes to the three Dubai Chambers to accelerate the emirate’s economic transformation and position it as a global business hub.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, unveiled the new structure involving three chambers — Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, and Dubai International Chamber — through social media platform Twitter.

“A new model through which we aim to benefit from the Dubai Chamber — one of the largest international chambers of commerce with 245,000 members — as a major development arm for Dubai and to enhance Dubai’s position as the capital of business and finance,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted on Saturday.

Speaking on the chambers’ business plan, Sheikh Muhammed said the members of Dubai Chambers will be active stakeholders in executing Dubai’s international trade strategy which aims to expand our external trade to Dh2 trillion in five years.

“Dubai will continue to constantly offer new opportunities and facilitate the efficient flow of international trade backed by its advanced logistics hub, state-of-the-art ports and airport infrastructure, and its pro-growth business environment,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

In March, Sheikh Mohammed announced the plan to restructure Dubai Chamber into three units to accelerate digital and economic transformation. The formation of three chambers of commerce is aimed at supporting international trade and the digital economy and a five-year plan to increase Dubai’s foreign trade from Dh1.4 trillion to Dh2 trillion in next five years.

The Vice-President also shared the newly-approved board of directors for Dubai Chambers, which will supervise the three chambers and create a robust business environment in the emirate.

“We approved the board of directors of the overarching Dubai Chambers, which will oversee and coordinate the efforts of the 3 chambers under a common vision and propose mega initiatives to spearhead Dubai’s economy, ultimately creating a robust business environment,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.

“The three new chambers have historic responsibilities of boosting our international trade, advancing our digital economy, protecting the interests of entrepreneurs and business owners and supporting the Government of Dubai in establishing the world’s best economic ecosystem,” another tweet said.

Juma Al Majid was named as the Honorary Chairman of Dubai Chamber; Abdulaziz Al Ghurair appointed as the Chairman of Dubai Chamber; Sultan bin Sulayem as Chairman of Dubai Chamber of International Trade; and Omar Al Olama as Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy.

The board of Dubai Chambers is chaired by Abdulaziz Al Ghurair and its members include Omar Al Futtaim, Khalid Jumaa Al Majid, Rajaa Al Gurg, Omar Al Olama, Sultan bin Sulayem, Butti Saad Al Kendi, Helal Saeed Al Marri, Faisal Jumaa Belhoul, Patrick Chalhoub, Ghassan Al Kibsi, Dr Amina Al Rustamani and Tariq Hussain Khansaheb.

The board will work to create a comprehensive unified strategy for Dubai Chambers, set key priorities and objectives, propose major initiatives to advance Dubai’s strategic economic development, and ensure streamlined coordination and integration between the three chambers.

The board of Dubai Chambers seeks to accelerate the growth of the Dubai economy by promoting Dubai as a global business hub and attracting multinational companies.

The Dubai Chamber of International Trade will represent and support the interests of local companies with international presence and international companies based in Dubai. It will also support Dubai’s vision to expand to new global markets, forge new economic partnerships and support local companies in achieving global success, while also attracting promising talent and investors from across the world. The Dubai Chamber of International Trade seeks to cover 30 international markets that are considered important markets for Dubai through promotional projects.

The Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy is tasked with launching projects and developing studies on the new future economy, as part of efforts to build the world’s best digital infrastructure and transform Dubai into an international technology hub. With the objective of promoting the interests of technology companies and advancing the role of the digital economy in the emirate, the new chamber will build a network of relationships with local and international tech entrepreneurs and investment funds. It will also help draft legislations in Dubai and the UAE to create a growth-friendly environment for the digital economy.

The emirate is expected to post four per cent growth this year after posting a rare contraction in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Latest economic data as well as consumer and investor surveys indicate a gradual recovery in the coming months and said the outlook for Dubai’s transport, logistics and hospitality sectors looks brighter as well once the travel restrictions are eased globally.

Experts laud restructuring

Atik Munshi, managing partner at Enterprise House, said Dubai works with a future vision and the restructuring of Dubai Chamber into Commerce, Digital Economy and International is such a step.

“Such separation is expected to bring in more focus to specific areas which in turn will help the economy and ease of doing business. It is also expected that these three arms will be both competitive and complimenting to each other thus giving a better deal to the users,” Munshi told Khaleej Times on Saturday.

“Digital Economy way of business is very different than the conventional way hence such distinction is necessary,” he added.

A well planned move

Bal Krishen, chairman and CEO, Century Financial, said the move to revamp the Dubai Chamber of Commerce is a very well planned and a massive move by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

“Dubai has been the fastest growing economy in terms of revolutionary commerce and this move will ensure that Dubai remains on top. The inclusion of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy would enable Dubai to be on the pinnacle of the technology and digital transformation and would help a lot of start ups. This is a very welcome change for all businesses in the region and would help the GDP grow to new heights,” Krishen told Khaleej Times on Saturday.

Aligning the corporate strategy

Shailesh Dash, a Dubai-based financier and an entrepreneur, said the latest move will align the corporate strategy and promote Dubai as an international business hub.

“The three chambers represent with leading business representatives and they will evolve an effective strategy to support the Government of Dubai’s vision in establishing the world’s best economic ecosystem,” Dash told Khaleej Times on Saturday.

Supporting digital economy

Kamal Vachani, group director and partner at Almaya Group, said this is a very positive move and it will definitely advance the digital economy and will boost international trade.

“Dubai has always been on forefront in making a business-friendly atmosphere, which is the best in the world. The favourable business policies are of a very positive nature, which lead to a atmosphere of ease of doing business in the emirate,” Vachani told Khaleej Times on Saturday.

Safdar Badami, MD, Al Muqarram Group, said this is a great decision to accelerate Dubai's economic and digital transformation. He said the govt has taken several bold and very timely economic decisions to help stabilise and bolster the economy.

"I believe this will be helpful for the business owners and entrepreneurs in the country and hopefully will reduce the economic hardship on them and help in accelerating Dubai’s digital transformation," Badami told Khaleej Times on Saturday.

A great initiative

Nitin Agarwal, president at Dubai-based startup Hundred, said this is yet another great initiative from Dubai leadership. He said it will ensure increased focus on the three pillars of development for Dubai economy and will help create even better environment for businesses to start, grow and thrive.

"We at Hundred welcome this initiative as this will drive further the digital transformation and technology usage in the region and will help businesses to grow which is in line with our objective to support local merchants to improve their reach and profitability," Agarwal told Khaleej Times on Saturday.

Photo: Wam
Photo: Wam

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