Dozens of tech firms to announce UAE move by end of year, minister says

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said new additions to burgeoning business community will enrich the economy

H.E. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, UAE. Victor Besa / The National
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Dozens of international companies are primed to set up home in the UAE amid a major drive to cement the country's status as a global tech hub.

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said he was hopeful that close to 40 firms would announce their relocation to the Emirates before the end of the year.

The ambitious efforts to broaden business horizons is part of the NextGenFDI initiative, which aims to attract advanced technology companies from all over the world with a series of incentives.

These include making licensing and financing easier, offering golden visas, providing commercial and residential lease incentives, relocation guidance, cloud infrastructure and affordable education for families.

Dr Al Zeyoudi spoke to The National about the programme on the eve of the NextGen Talent Forum on Wednesday, a virtual event hosted by the Ministry of Economy, where speakers from companies such as Google, Amazon and Meta will address the nation's youth.

“We were talking to about 300 companies when we launched the initiative, but we exceeded that number to almost 400 companies so far,” he said.

“There is serious engagement and partnerships with almost 40 companies, and hopefully before the end of the year we're going to announce that they're either opening their regional headquarters or moving their global headquarters here.

“Many of these companies are going to be huge or bring huge added value.”

Some of these companies are focused on robotics, which Dr Al Zeyoudi said would “improve efficiency and many surveillance and monitoring areas within the country”.

A food security 'game-changer'

Another organisation relocating to the UAE focuses on lab-grown milk.

“It is going to be a game changer in the food security of the country where we're going to be a net exporter of milk from the UAE after they fully run their operations.

“These are some of the examples how the technology can play a major role in shifting the way that we're running things and achieving many of the strategies that we have in the country.”

In the weeks after the NextGenFDI initiative was launched in July, various companies decided to relocate their global or regional headquarters to the UAE.

These included Krush Brands, a full-stack food ordering and operating platform, which will transfer over its technology arm and create 700 jobs in the next two years.

Another is the UK-based agile software development company Godel, which will establish its regional base in the Dubai International Financial Centre and form a 250-strong workforce in the UAE within two years.

Updated: November 02, 2022, 3:18 AM