ADVOCACY: Dubai Chambers – Ambition in focus
G20 Issue

ADVOCACY: Dubai Chambers – Ambition in focus

Last year, Dubai Chambers entered a new chapter when it unveiled a brand new identity and strategy – and its ambitions for the near future reach every corner of the business world

When the G20 meets in New Delhi, discussions will take place in the context of India’s summit theme of One Earth, One Family, One Future. As global leaders gather to address the key challenges and opportunities of our time, discussions will focus on taking a human-centric approach to creating a prosperous, inclusive and developed future for all.

This human-centric approach is one in which Dubai Chambers is well versed. Against a backdrop of rapidly evolving economies, a shifting trade and investment landscape, and a fast-expanding digital economy, our objective is to support businesses that fuel and sustain our societies. 

As the G20 seeks to improve the world’s economic situation, Dubai Chambers is working tirelessly to foster opportunities globally and cement the emirate’s status as an international hub for business, trade and investment. 

With these goals in mind, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, approved an innovative structure for Dubai Chambers in 2021. Our new three-chamber model launched last year, with Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai International Chamber and Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy brought under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers – each with its own individual brand, strategy and specialised approach. It was an unprecedented move, and one that is creating exciting growth opportunities for businesses in Dubai. 

As well as shining a light on the digital economy and creating a platform to develop a robust digital assets industry, the three-chamber model has attracted international trade and drawn increased levels of foreign direct investment to Dubai. We have welcomed new multinational companies and small and medium-sized enterprises, and the emirate’s business environment is setting impressive global benchmarks in terms of the ongoing support and services available to companies of all sizes. 

Driving impact

At Dubai Chambers, our ambitions are broad and impactful – from our ongoing advocacy efforts to shape policy changes that serve the interests of business, to our laser focus on global expansion through roadshows and a growing network of international representative offices. Each of the three chambers are making their mark on the economic landscape in distinctive and highly significant ways. 

Since the beginning of this year alone, Dubai International Chamber has inaugurated six new international representative offices in Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and South Africa, complementing the chamber’s already strong global presence and supporting members with expansion into key priority markets. The new openings underpin Dubai Chambers’ strategic goal of attracting international businesses and investments to Dubai and come as part of the Dubai Global initiative. Launched in 2022 and led by Dubai International Chamber, the initiative seeks to establish 50 commercial representative offices for Dubai across five continents by the end of the decade.

Dubai Global will leverage this powerful network of international offices and strategic public and private-sector partnerships to attract foreign multinational companies, SMEs, investors and international talent to the emirate, while at the same time assisting members with their expansion plans into global markets. The initiative supports the drive to boost Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade from AED 1.4 trillion (US$381.1 billion) to AED 2 trillion (US$544.5 billion) by 2026 in line with the emirate’s five-year foreign trade plan.

Our ‘New Horizons’ initiative has also successfully facilitated a series of trade delegations to strategic markets across the globe. Spearheaded by Dubai International Chamber, the initiative seeks to drive the international expansion of Dubai businesses into targeted countries and promote the emirate as a thriving global investment hub. The first roadshow took place in March and targeted Central Asia, with visits to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. This was followed by trade missions to the Retail Technology Show in London in April and SAITEX in Johannesburg in June.

A total of 38 companies participated in these three delegations, during which more than 550 business meetings were arranged to explore potential partnerships and discuss opportunities to strengthen bilateral cooperation.
This highly effective strategy brings us closer to our goal of supporting 100 businesses to expand globally within
the next two years.

Last year, Dubai Chamber of Commerce introduced a new business advocacy unit that has played a significant role in its membership growing to more than 350,000 companies currently. It has also exceeded its target of establishing more than 100 business groups, which are key to strengthening the diversity and agility of Dubai’s dynamic economy. 

Meanwhile, Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy continues to make significant strides in its journey to position the emirate as one of the world’s most agile and diversified technology-enabled digital hubs. The chamber aims to ensure digital companies and investments can flourish in the emirate, and is targeting the attraction of 300 digital start-ups to Dubai by 2024 to support the UAE’s drive to double the 2022 contribution of the digital economy to non-oil gross domestic product within 10 years.

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy consistently works to amplify the success of Dubai’s digital ecosystem by hosting international roadshows and has launched a series of landmark initiatives that serve as a catalyst for digital growth. Later this year, we are looking forward to hosting Expand North Star, the world’s largest event for start-ups that brings together more than 1,400 exhibitors and 1,000 investors in Dubai. The eagerly anticipated event is designed to ramp up the start-up entrepreneurship momentum, and will transcend geographic boundaries to connect government partners, investors and corporate accelerators with innovators and tech stars from every continent.

Human-centric support

Dubai Chambers plays a vital role in bridging the work of government and businesses and is striving to create new channels and platforms that unlock the power of public–private-sector partnership. Supporting businesses of all sizes is a central goal of both the chambers and the emirate, as reflected earlier this year with the launch of the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses. Inaugurated in May by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, first deputy ruler of Dubai, deputy prime minister and minister of finance of the UAE, the new centre is entrusted with ensuring the growth and sustainability of family businesses, which play a vital role in the success of the UAE economy. 

According to Ministry of Economy data, up to 90% of private companies in the UAE are family businesses. Together, they employ more than 70% of the private sector workforce. Dubai Chambers will offer support in areas including succession planning governance and moving towards an initial public offering. 

The launch of the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses embodies the emirate’s human-centric approach to economic development, and we at Dubai Chambers are proud to play a vital role in the success of these efforts. As the G20 leaders gather in New Delhi, I look forward to the summit’s ongoing, high-level work to shape a better tomorrow and bring us closer to our shared vision of One Earth, One Family, One Future.