UAE’s digital economy expected to hit $140bn by 2031

This would double the sector's contribution to GDP to more than 20%, from 9.7%, according to the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy

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Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has issued a recent report detailing plans to drive the emirate’s digital economy ambitions, as part of its efforts to strengthen the digital economy ecosystem in Dubai and achieve the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33).

The report estimates the national digital economy will grow to well over US$140 billion in 2031, up from today’s nearly US$38 billion. The study underlined the importance of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy’s efforts, and the collaboration between various stakeholders and digital startups, to firmly position Dubai as the next digital economy capital of the world.

Published in collaboration with Entrepreneur Middle East and titled ‘Dubai’s Digital Economy and its Thriving Startup Ecosystem’, the report explains the fundamental role of the Chamber in supporting digital economy strategies and achieving the wise leadership’s objectives to cement Dubai’s position as a global capital of the digital economy.

H.E. Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, said that doubling the contribution of the digital economy to the UAE’s GDP from 9.7% to over 20% by 2031, reflects Dubai’s endeavours to establish itself as a key tech hub and leading global destination for digital companies.

H.E. Al Olama stressed that the UAE’s pioneering initiatives to build the economy of the future help create a world-class digital infrastructure and support the dynamic start-up ecosystem. "Our strategic plans will also focus on achieving the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33), especially in terms of driving digital transformation, developing a sustainable business sector, and adding an average of AED100 billion per year in economic value to the emirate’s economy," he said.

“Raising the business community’s awareness about challenges and future trends is a key priority, as is highlighting the importance of digital transformation as an engine of sustainable growth for the business sector,” he added.

The report provides insight into Dubai’s digital economy startups and why Dubai will become the next digital economy capital of the world. Dubai has always been known for its strong entrepreneurial spirit. Approximately 96% of all funds raised in the UAE since 2017 have been raised by startups headquartered in Dubai. In 2021, all startups across the entire country raised US$1.2 billion, the vast majority of which went to Dubai-based startups. The emirate’s startups raised more than US$2 billion in 2022, more than double the funding figures in 2021.

In addition to highlighting the key strategies, drivers, and stakeholders behind Dubai’s digital economy, the report also features interviews with iconic homegrown startups, as well as recent Dubai transplants from various industries.

The study goes on to reveal some of the Chamber’s upcoming plans and strategies, which include attracting 300 digital startups to Dubai by the end of 2024; attracting 100 international experts in advanced technologies; improving laws and policies that would support the growth of the digital economy; organising an international conference on the new digital economy; promoting digital transformation across national companies; and enhancing the business environment to attract global digital firms.

Updated: February 05, 2023, 4:47 AM