The DFDF held its first annual meeting at the Museum of the Future in Dubai, which was presided over by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai and the Chairman of the Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE’s Deputy Ruler, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Finance, also presided over the meeting.
During the meeting, the DFDF’s progress to date was examined, and strategies were discussed to assist technology firms in their early stages of development, aid their potential future listing on the Dubai stock exchange, and also to assist them in taking advantage of investment opportunities to advance their future efforts.
Dubai’s DFDF facilitates the growth of its capital base to make Dubai the world’s leading startup city
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, acknowledged that Dubai has become a global gateway for ambitious investment prospects, a centre for future-focused project financing, and a worldwide testbed for technology and digital economy applications of tomorrow.
He emphasized that the emirate provides an ideal environment for technology enterprises to achieve the highest levels of agility and transparency while also creating opportunities for individuals, organizations, and communities.
Besides that, Sheikh Hamdan underlined the importance of strengthening the involvement of Dubai government entities in accomplishing the DFDF’s goals, expanding its future-oriented venture capital, and further consolidating Dubai’s position as a world-class hub for entrepreneurship.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed highlighted Dubai’s goal of becoming one of the world’s top digital economies by providing state-of-the-art regulatory frameworks and infrastructure that support technology entrepreneurs and drive innovative smart projects, particularly those involving fintech and smart financing solutions.
Dubai’s efforts have paid off, and as a result, it has emerged as a sought-after hotspot for start-ups, specialists, technology behemoths, programmers, and digital nomads, as well as financial technology enterprises seeking to be listed on the city’s stock exchange.
Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed made clear that the rapid adoption of emerging technologies across various sectors is critical to Dubai’s long-term viability. This model is crucial to Dubai’s efforts to accelerate economic growth, carry out national initiatives and strategies, and contribute to the UAE’s progress in economic, digital, legislative, and future growth indicators.
He added that the Dubai Future District Fund showcases the government’s commitment to supporting visionaries, business owners, inventors, new businesses, and tech companies. The fund enables businesses in Dubai to expand locally, regionally, and globally by leveraging Dubai’s integrated systems, forward-thinking regulations, and technological advancement.
The Fund’s key achievements were highlighted during its first Annual General Meeting, including its role in implementing Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s directive to establish an initial fund of Dhs1 billion to support entrepreneurs and startups. The meeting also discussed how other Dubai entities can participate in and support the Fund, in line with Dubai’s vision of becoming the world’s leading startup city.
The DFDF currently has 16 entrepreneurial startups and investment funds in various sectors such as future technology, stock management solutions, the metaverse, digital content, banking, payments, real estate, healthcare, and artificial intelligence in its portfolio. These investments are expected to be worth $1.7 billion by 2025.
The meeting was graced by a varied crowd comprising ministers, business leaders, CEOs, investors, experts, celebrities, and high-ranking UAE officials.
The gathering was an excellent opportunity to explore potential collaborations and review the DFDF’s plans to support the digital economy and contribute to Dubai’s Economic Agenda D33’s goals of doubling the size of the Dubai economy and consolidating its position as one of the world’s top three cities over the next ten years.
Several panel discussions with experts from the government and private sectors took place during the meeting, which also explored potential collaborations and reviewed DFDF’s plans.
Special sessions with Jessica Smith, an Australian Paralympic swimmer and motivational speaker with a robotic arm, and Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked men’s tennis player, were also featured.
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The DFDF’s primary goal is to provide financing for emerging technology companies and funds in Dubai and the surrounding region. Its goal is to help these businesses grow and expand into new markets, to invest in local and regional portfolios, attract investment capital, and increase the contribution of future economy companies to Dubai’s GDP.
Furthermore, the DFDF seeks to create job opportunities for specialized talent as well as to encourage private sector and foreign investment in Dubai’s future economy companies.
Dubai’s Securities and Exchange Higher Committee established the DFDF, a development initiative chaired by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to support innovative projects and solutions in emerging technologies such as AI, robotics, and blockchain.
The collaboration between the Dubai Future Foundation and the Dubai International Financial Centre aims to develop new products and services while also increasing Dubai’s GDP contribution from the future economy sector.