Dubai Future District Fund spotlights economic growth, innovation and sustainability at annual general meeting

Showcasing collaborative efforts to drive economic growth and foster tech startups in Dubai
Dubai Future District Fund spotlights economic growth, innovation and sustainability at annual general meeting
The Dubai Future District Fund allocated 20 percent of its AED1 billion fund to accelerate sustainable technology and innovation startups (Photo: WAM)

The Dubai Future District Fund (DFDF) recently held its annual general meeting at the Museum of the Future in Dubai. It showcased its achievements and contributions to the UAE’s innovation ecosystem in 2023. The DFDF serves as a strategic platform for venture investments, uniting public and private sectors to drive economic growth and innovation.

The annual general meeting included keynotes from high-profile attendees and panel discussions with entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders. It covered collaborative initiatives driving innovation, adopting new technologies, and further delving into the Fund’s forward-looking strategies.

Sustainability and economic growth

In his keynote speech on ‘Sustainability in Finance and Climate’, Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, UAE’s minister of economy, emphasized the UAE’s strategic goals in doubling the national economy’s GDP over the next decade. The ambitious ‘We the UAE 2031’ strategy aims to double the UAE’s GDP to AED3 trillion by 2031. Moreover, it focuses on social, economic, investment and development aspects to enhance its global economic influence and attractiveness.

Al Marri also highlighted the importance of sectors such as the circular economy and sustainability in achieving this objective. “In these sectors, the UAE has crafted a sustainable economic strategy grounded in foundational pillars such as research and development, innovation, and technology,” he added. Bin Touq commended the Fund for unlocking economic opportunities and driving innovation, contributing to the nation’s competitiveness and fostering sustainable growth.

He added, “The UAE is focused on activating opportunities within the circular economy, clean energy, smart transportation, sustainable aviation, and agricultural technology sectors with the aim of transitioning towards a diversified, knowledge-based economy.”

Impact and investments

The DFDF outlined its significant contributions to Dubai’s venture capital landscape, with strategic investments across various sectors. The Fund has supported over 25 projects, leading to a substantial increase in talent within these ventures. Additionally, the Dubai Future District Fund allocated 20 percent of its AED1 billion fund to accelerate sustainable technology and innovation startups. This aligns with the UAE’s sustainability objectives and the ambitious ‘We the UAE 2031’ strategy.

The annual meeting further underscores the Dubai Future District Fund’s vital role in cementing the UAE’s reputation as a global economic leader. Moreover, it confirms the UAE’s position as a thriving landscape for innovative tech start-ups. By prioritizing advanced technologies such as AI, robotics, and blockchain, the fund is crafting a foundation for a sustainable, diversified global economy.

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Sustainable growth

Sharif El-Badawi, CEO of the Dubai Future District Fund, emphasized the fund’s pivotal role in establishing Dubai as a leading region for the new economy industry. By offering financial support and business opportunities, the fund aids emerging companies in their journey toward listing on Dubai’s financial markets. “This year’s AGM was a testament to our ongoing commitment to sustainable financial growth and to making a tangible impact on the environment and society”, El-Badawi said.

Panel sessions

Panel sessions at the Dubai Future District Fund’s annual meeting delved into crucial aspects of fostering a supportive environment for technology companies. Moreover, they further discussed the importance of promoting sustainability. Industry experts discussed creating a sustainable ecosystem for tech startups and championing sustainability, innovation, and legacy.

During a panel session titled “Flamini’s Green Revolution: Championing Sustainability, Innovation, and Legacy”, former Arsenal player and GF Biochemicals Co-founder Mathieu Flamini shared his transition from sports to advocating for a green economy, emphasising the role of wealthy investors in promoting sustainable development paths worldwide.

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