Embracing a year of innovation in the UAE and beyond

Embracing a year of innovation in the UAE and beyond

Op-ed by Hisham Al Gurg, CEO of Seed Group and the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum

As the CEO of Seed Group, it is with immense pride and gratitude that I reflect on the transformative journey the UAE and Dubai have embarked upon. 

This year has been nothing short of remarkable, filled with milestones that have not only propelled local businesses but have also carved the path for a bright and promising future in the heart of the Middle East.

Seeding global collaborations

In 2023, Seed Group’s commitment to fostering innovation reached new heights as we strategically forged alliances with over 20 leading global tech startups. 

This endeavour wasn’t just about bringing cutting-edge technologies to our region; it was about creating a collaborative spirit that catapulted Dubai into the forefront of technological advancements. The result was a more interconnected and vibrant economy, setting the stage for a pioneering era in the region.

By attracting international tech giants and fostering collaborations, we have played a pivotal role in diversifying the UAE’s economic landscape. This move ensures sustained growth and resilience in the face of global challenges, fortifying the foundation for a prosperous future.

Empowering local startups

As the tech wave surged in the UAE, Seed Group emerged as a catalyst, empowering startups and entrepreneurs. Through strategic investments and mentorship programmes, we nurtured local talent, enabling them to thrive in our dynamic and competitive market. 

Our unwavering support not only elevated the status of homegrown startups but also attracted international attention, solidifying Dubai as a global hub for innovation and enterprise.

A year of breakthroughs

Dubai’s tech landscape witnessed numerous triumphs in 2023. From artificial intelligence breakthroughs to sustainable technology advancements, the city became a breeding ground for cutting-edge ideas and solutions. 

Our pace of moving with the speed of trends positioned the city as a model of progress, driving the region towards a brighter and more technologically enriched future.

Amid these achievements, the UAE’s entrepreneurial landscape witnessed key developments that aligned with Seed Group’s vision. And this is not just about one emirate; this is about the entire nation. 

Take the launch of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre’s fund to invest in potential startups, for example. This move aligns seamlessly with the national commitment to fostering innovation in traditional and futuristic domains.

Dubai’s initiative to be among the top 10 cities in the global gaming industry, the Dubai Programme for Gaming 2033, and its goal of generating 30,000 new jobs—all these decisions further strengthen the overarching aims of empowering the creative economy and entrepreneurs and startups in this sector in turn.

One of the things that caught the attention of the entire world was the fact that despite economic headwinds, the venture capital landscape in the MENA showcased resilience, with fintech and e-commerce dominating. This reinforces our commitment to staying at the forefront of technological trends and supporting ventures that drive innovation.

Add to it the UAE’s leadership in generative artificial intelligence, which stands out globally, showcasing the country’s readiness for exponential change. Our involvement in this sector is a testament to our dedication to transformative technologies and the government’s efforts to encourage growth in this crucial field.

Looking ahead

As we bid farewell to 2023, the legacy of Dubai’s tech renaissance is undeniable. The start-ups and businesses in technology and innovation have been instrumental in steering the country toward unparalleled success, transforming challenges into opportunities, and laying the groundwork for a future where innovation knows no bounds.

The tech horizon of the UAE stands as a testament to the region’s commitment to excellence, collaboration, and a future where possibilities are limitless, with Dubai at the heart of it.

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