Op-ed by Hisham Al Gurg, CEO, Seed Group and the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum
How do you measure success? Measuring success is a complex and multifaceted concept that can be approached from various philosophical perspectives. At its core, success is a subjective experience that varies from person to person, and its meaning can be shaped by cultural, social, and personal factors.
However, measuring success and being able to do that has its own set of benefits, the most important being the ability to trace where one has reached and where they are headed. The same applies to a nation or a city. Quantifying success for us in the UAE and Dubai is not just a means of measurement; it is also a yardstick that guides our future actions. The results are therefore important, and the emirate keeps working on releasing them so the authorities and the people can both see how we are growing and what needs to be done next.
The most recent addition to this is the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy’s recent report detailing plans to drive the emirate’s digital economy ambitions. The report estimates that the national digital economy will grow to well over US$140 billion in 2031, up from today’s nearly US$38 billion. This growth is a testament to Dubai’s strong commitment to developing a thriving digital economy ecosystem that will position it as the next digital economy capital of the world.
The efforts of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy are truly commendable, as is their collaboration with various stakeholders and digital startups to achieve the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33). As H.E. Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications and Chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, rightly pointed out, doubling the digital economy’s contribution to the UAE’s GDP from 9.7 percent to over 20% by 2031 demonstrates Dubai’s ambitions of establishing itself as a key tech hub and leading global destination for digital companies.
I think that the UAE’s pioneering measures to build the economy of the future are constantly contributing to the development of world-class digital infrastructure and a vibrant startup environment that has for years been a magnet for many. The aim here is to drive digital transformation, establish a sustainable business sector, and contribute an average of AED 100 billion in economic value to the emirate’s economy each year.
The goals of attracting 300 digital startups to Dubai by the end of 2024 and attracting 100 international experts in advanced technologies are particularly empowering. The reform of laws and policies that would support the growth of the digital economy, the promotion of digital transformation among national companies, and the enhancement of business conditions to attract global digital firms are also critical to the achievement of these goals. As Dubai builds its thriving digital economy ecosystem, it is clear that its strong entrepreneurial spirit is paying off. In the UAE, startups headquartered in Dubai have raised approximately 96 percent of funds since 2017. More than twice as much funding was raised by startups in the emirate in 2022 as it was in 2021.
All this is an important indication that Dubai will continue to grow and thrive in the years to come.
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