Dubai Chambers Role in the Development of the Emirate’s Digital Economy
The Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy (DCDE) is one of three independent chambers operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers. In recent years, the Dubai Chambers has restructured and rebranded its three chambers, namely Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai International Chamber, and Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy – each of which have their own individual brands, strategies and specialized approach.
The Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy was created to build the world’s best digital infrastructure and transform Dubai into an international technology hub, and support the interests of technology and digital economy companies in the Emirate. It is just one more way in which Dubai is showing its multi-stakeholder driven, concerted effort towards Dubai’s vision of becoming the digital economy capital of the world. As the city, known already for being the Blockchain capital of the world, sets its sights on becoming a global destination for digital entrepreneurs, crypto-heads, and metaverse techies – it seems they’ve also dedicated an entire Chamber to the cause.
The Dubai Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the world with nearly 300,000 members, and is still growing. In the first quarter of 2022, over 10,000 companies joined the Chamber. The Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy expects to emulate the successes achieved by its parent Chamber, focusing solely on the development of Dubai’s Digital Economy. Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy’s strategy for 2022-2024 focuses primarily on attracting leading tech companies, startups and scaleups that can support Dubai’s digital ambitions. The chamber’s plans include, but are not limited to:
- Attracting 300 digital startups to Dubai within the next two years
- Attracting 100 international experts in the field of advanced technologies
- Improvements and changes to laws and policies that would support the growth of the digital economy
- Organizing an international conference on the new digital economy
- Promoting digital transformation across national companies
- Enhancing the business environment to attract global digital firms
With the aim of making the UAE the best country in the world by 2071, His Excellency, Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers, has adopted its new 2022-24 strategy aligning with Dubai’s new vision and plan to drive the UAE’s sustainable economic growth over the next 50 years. Much of the strategic initiatives within the two-year strategy was conceived at the Dubai Digital Economy Retreat which was organized by the DCDE in 2021. The retreat, which was attended by relevant Ministers, deputies, private and public sector entities, concluded with several practical recommendations to address existing challenges in the market. Some of the discussions highlighted the cost for start-ups operating in the sector, how to encourage more digital start-ups to establish themselves in Dubai, how to ensure enhancement of investments in growing these businesses, widening the acceptance of e-commerce payments and removing barriers of entry and enhancing quality of services operating in this space. Many of these discussions required honest dialogue between the private and public sector entities, in order to come-up with collaborative solutions to support the overall vision of Dubai becoming the Digital Economy capital of the world.
The Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy plans on continuing to play this central role in bringing the private sector and public sector to the table to discuss key issues. In August 2022, the DCDE announced the Dubai Digital Assets Business Group (D2A2), which will play a central role bringing all the main digital assets companies and stakeholders to the table to discuss recommendations for legislation, among other things.
Earlier this summer, the Chamber also kicked-off a new road-show series to entice global scale-ups to Dubai and support the development of Dubai’s digital economy. In collaboration with GITEX – an annual consumer, computer and electronics trade show in Dubai which attracts 150,000 attendees each year – the first roadshow was held in Ethiopia and Kenya, wherein a delegation from the Chamber met with 20 up-and-coming African scaleups focused on advanced tech and digital business solutions spanning various sectors such as fintech, healthtech, mobility, agtech and ecommerce. The series is continuing with several events in Europe and India.
There is much work to be done, but it seems the strategic initiatives are well underway for the DCDE. As can be summed up in the words of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, “The Dubai Chambers have played a significant role in Dubai’s economic development. Today, we look forward to maximize this role in the field of digital economy, technical investments, and building new global economic opportunities.”