GLOBAL GATEWAY

Dubai 2020 | OPPORTUNITY | INTERVIEW

Dubai's success in attracting new investors and retaining old ones is rooted in its economic diversity and openness to employ capital, innovation, technology, and talent across every sector.

Fahad Al Gergawi
BIOGRAPHY

As CEO of the Dubai Investment Development Agency, Fahad Al Gergawi leads a team that develops, promotes, and supports the FDI environment and projects in Dubai. The president of WAIPA from 2019 to 2021, he also serves as the Secretary General of the Hamdan Centre for the Future of Investment where he leads a global program to promote impact FDI. He is also a member of Dubai Economy's Executive Committee, chairs the Dubai Investment Week organizing committee, and sits on the advisory board of MODUL University in Dubai. He holds a bachelor's from the United Arab Emirates University.

What role does Dubai FDI assume in coordinating a cohesive message to investors and other stakeholders?
Dubai FDI continues to work toward improving Dubai's business environment and boost investor confidence in the Emirate. When we talk about Dubai, we talk about constant changes taking place, and at Dubai FDI we are committed to adopting these changes and transforming challenges into opportunities for investors. Today, Dubai FDI's responsibility toward leaders and investors lies in developing services, improving lives, and shaping the future of Dubai.

Change is one of today's biggest challenges. How is Dubai FDI leading the transformation, and how do you assess the changing needs of investors and businesses interested in Dubai?
Investors' needs are changing constantly, and IPAs should know how to adapt with these and even lead said change. Dubai has proactively put in place policies and strategies to lead future transformations. Our responsibility at Dubai FDI is to adopt these transformations and transform them into opportunities. At Dubai FDI, we take investors' needs into consideration as we facilitate connections between investors and government officials to support investor success, growth, and expansion in Dubai and across regional and global markets. Dubai's success in attracting new investors and retaining current ones underlines its economic diversity, readiness and openness to employ capital, innovation, technology, and talent across future economic sectors.

Creating the city of the future will no doubt require building the best talent. What initiatives is Dubai FDI implementing to encourage mentorship and capacity building?
Creating a talent ecosystem requires joint collective efforts by public and private sectors to address the requirements needed to address critical challenges, opportunities to develop, and retain and attract talent to stay competitive as an FDI destination. According to Dubai FDI Monitor, Dubai has succeeded in attracting 184 high and medium-technology projects worth AED19.98 billion, creating 12,641 jobs in the first nine months of 2019. These numbers are a testament to Dubai's having built a knowledge and innovation economy that is attracting and retaining talent. I also want to mention the Capacity 2030 program launched by the Hamdan Centre for the Future of Investment in partnership with WAIPA to enhance the capacity of IPAs to facilitate USD15 billion in FDI flows into Sustainable Development Goal-related projects by 2030.

You recently described Dubai as the “chocolate fountain" of the region and the world, whereby others benefit from the spillover effects of its development. How does Dubai FDI integrate the Emirate's regional influence into its activities and developments?
In the past few years, we have witnessed a significant rise in the number of FDI polices across the globe, which has led to FDI decreasing over the last few years. At the same time Dubai remained an attractive global FDI destination, open economy, and a gateway for global companies to expand in regional growth markets, not to mention a pivotal hub in the global economy. This is what increases investor confidence and demonstrates what Dubai FDI is doing to attract and retain investors in Dubai.

As the current president of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), how will the integration of WAIPA and Dubai help the latter grow?
Dubai FDI has been working side-by-side with WAIPA to strengthen IPAs role in order to create new FDI opportunities and invest in building capacity needed to lead future transformations and attract impact FDI projects that will help achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Being elected president of WAIPA is another achievement for Dubai as it reflects the Emirate's position as one of the world's top FDI locations and its key role in leading future transformations.