The Dubai Digital Economy Retreat concluded on Wednesday with the adoption of a new action plan designed to develop the emirate’s digital economy strategy.
Discussions at the two-day forum, organised by the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, generated several practical recommendations to address existing challenges in the market.
The action plan is structured on three pillars - enhancing the digital business environment, supporting the development of digital companies and attracting leading digital companies to Dubai.
“The plan emphasises the importance of understanding the current and future infrastructure needs of the digital economy, facilitating access to funding and managing relationships and networks abroad with digital-related entities,” Dubai Government Media Office said in a statement.
The UAE government is taking concrete steps to establish a strong digital economy and make use of the advantages provided by digital transformation.
The digital economy contributes about 4.3 per cent to the UAE's gross domestic product, which is equivalent to Dh100 billion, government figures show.
There are more than 1,400 start-ups in the country, 90 investment funds in the digital sector and 12 business incubators. The total value of start-ups in the country is estimated to be about Dh90bn.
More than 100 industry experts participated in the recent forum that aimed to accelerate the growth of digital companies in the emirate.
Interactive workshops during the event identified key market gaps that include the need to attract more digital companies and specialised talent to Dubai, high costs for companies operating in the sector, widening acceptance of e-commerce payments, and removing barriers of entry and enhancing the quality of services operating in this space.
The action plan lays the groundwork for developing Dubai’s digital economy strategy and ecosystem, and it is expected to create new jobs and growth opportunities, said Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Digital Economy, AI and Remote Work Applications.
Mr Al Olama, who is also the chairman of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, said the forum achieved its objectives of involving private sector stakeholders in key discussions with their public sector counterparts.
The forum aims help to shape Dubai’s future vision and enhance the emirate’s economic competitiveness in the longer term, he added.