Dubai launches 4 initiatives to stimulate economic competitiveness, sustainability

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Staff Report

Dubai – The initiatives launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to reduce cost of doing business and facilitate inward investment in the emirate, draws on past experiences and seeks to move towards the future with confidence, said Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai.

His Highness’s directives also show the leadership’s keenness in dealing constructively with all local and international economic variables and seize new investment and development opportunities towards creating a stronger economy, more efficient environment and improved work mechanisms to provide everyone with an advanced, high quality living, Al Qamzi said

“Our leadership demonstrates deep insight and takes sound decisions in sustaining the economic momentum in Dubai. The Department of Economic Development on its part launches initiatives that effectively contribute to enhancing confidence among businesses and investors and help them sustain business growth without accumulation of penalties or financial insolvency,” added Al Qamzi.

“The Department of Economic Development is implementing four initiatives to stimulate competitiveness and achieve sustainable economic development in Dubai. They are related to exempting businesses from fines and trade violations, reducing operational cost in the retail sector, supporting local production and procurement, as well as attracting the best startups to Dubai and promoting them. The Executive Committee in the Department of Economic Development will follow up on the implementation of these initiatives as directed by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council.

“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has strengthened our determination to work towards making Dubai a global platform for innovative industries and services and a preferred destination for global companies looking to grow sustainably, develop diverse economic sectors, and create a competitive environment for domestic and foreign investment,” Al Qamzi stated.

The initiative to exempt companies from penalties and trade violations is aimed to ensure continued business growth and reduce the financial burden on businesses. Companies, which incurred fines and violations till 31 December 2017 will be identified and granted exemption by DED.

The Retail Cost Reduction initiative, meanwhile, will stimulate and increase investment in this sector by reducing operating costs as well as developing and adopting clear policies and to ensure that retail real estate rent increases are fair and reasonable. The objective is to achieve a balance between income and living expenses and boost demand as the retail sector plays an important role in consumption in the emirate and impacts other economic activities such as transport, storage and tourism.

The Local Production and Procurement Support Programme aims to encourage government and semi-government institutions and large companies to procure goods and services from local suppliers rather than from abroad. It will increase local value added as an estimated Dh2.1 billion will return to the local market while also supporting Dubai Government initiatives to enhance local productivity and growth. “The programme will also support entrepreneurship and increase domestic investment in production by involving local commercial banks in extending facilities and financing to local firms, besides enhancing cash flows in the SME sector,” Al Qamzi said.

“Emphasising the importance of a knowledge economy in promoting sustainable development, the leadership has adopted an integrated programme of economic incentives to attract the best companies focused on creating and disseminating knowledge and technology internationally, and encourage them to do business in Dubai,” said Al Qamzi. DED will also be working on a list of incentives and facilities such as exemption from certain government fees for specific periods of time, financial support and banking facilities to support companies expand locally and internationally.

DED aims to attract investments in R & D (research and development) and new business models, enhancing Dubai’s position in the global entrepreneurial map and facilitating innovative investments, in addition to attracting multinationals and entrepreneurial enablers to support creative local entrepreneurs to expand regionally and internationally. DED will continue to support, establish, grow and expand startups by attracting the world’s leading business incubators and accelerators that have a global network of resources.

DED also seeks to introduce the global entrepreneurial community to Dubai’s strategic advantages as the future city that embraces artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, smart mobility, 3D printing, open data and other new technologies, thereby creating new opportunities for companies that rely on knowledge, innovation and digital technologies for growth and expansion. -abdulbasit@theuaenews.com