Jun. 5, 2018

Hamad Buamim

UAE, Dubai

Hamad Buamim

President & CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry

“Over the last year, we opened new representative offices in Brazil, Panama, India, and Argentina which have complemented our global network.”


Holding his current position since 2006, Hamad Buamim is the President and CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He is also the Deputy Chair of the Paris-based World Chambers Federation – International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Buamim serves as a Board Member of the UAE Central Bank, Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, and Dubai World, and also acts as Chairman of National General Insurance, and Hawkamah, the Institute of Corporate Governance. Previously, Buamim served as Chairman of Emirates Financial Services, and Emirates NBD Capital, as well as a Board Member of Emirates NBD and Network International. Educated in the US, Buamim holds an MBA with honors in finance from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He also obtained a bachelor of science Magna Cum Laude in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

How has Dubai Chamber further built and strengthened its international presence in the past year?

As part of our strategy of exploring promising markets around the world and providing our members with access to new growth opportunities abroad, Dubai Chamber has scaled up its international presence by opening representative offices in various emerging markets across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Commonwealth of Independent States. Over the last year, we opened new representative offices in Brazil, Panama, India, and Argentina which have complemented our global network and greatly support our efforts to strengthen our relationships with key stakeholders in these markets. In addition, the Chamber organizes several high-level events and trade missions throughout the year which support its strategy of promoting Dubai as a preferred investment destination. Many of these events are hosted as part of the Chamber's successful Global Business Forum series which focuses on strengthening Dubai's economic cooperation with emerging markets. All of these efforts support the objectives of Dubai Plan 2021, as well as Dubai's economic diversification plans.

What are key sectors in which UAE businesses can provide their expertise abroad?

UAE companies have vast expertise and capabilities in logistics, aviation, tourism, retail and hospitality, in addition to a strong appetite for investment and expanding their global footprint. In fact, many of the UAE's leading companies have already established their presence in key markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and we expect this trend to gain momentum as more businesses look abroad for new growth opportunities. At the same time, the UAE's business community has been quick to adapt to new trends and develop capabilities in emerging sectors and fields such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, 3D printing, and smart city solutions in line with the objectives of the Dubai Plan 2021.

How does Dubai Chamber encourage cooperation between the public and private sectors to enhance competitiveness and ease barriers to trade?

As a bridge between business and government, Dubai Chamber plays a key role in facilitating fruitful cooperation and partnerships between Dubai's public and private sectors. Such efforts have helped accelerate Dubai's economic growth and development over the years and position the emirate as a leading example of what great things can be accomplished if various segments of society align their efforts and work together towards a common vision.

Dubai Chamber recently announced some initiatives to support Dubai's new economic stimulus plans. What do these initiatives entail and how will they further strengthen Dubai's position as a global business hub?

Under the new initiatives, the Chamber is coordinating with other government entities to review services and fees with the aim of reducing the cost of doing business in the emirate, while it is also working with a newly formed advisory board to boost the contribution of global companies in shaping the regulatory landscape. The council, represented by selected multinational corporations and Fortune 500 companies, represents business interests, strengthens investor confidence, and plays a key role in developing the local economy. I am confident that these unique initiatives will support the growth of Dubai's economy, address challenges facing businesses in the emirate and significantly boost investor confidence in the market. At the same time, they will help elevate the emirate's status as a global business hub and greatly support Dubai Chamber's mission of protecting the interests of business community in Dubai.

Dubai is acting at the forefront of implementing smart and disruptive technologies. How do you assess the potential for Dubai to become a leading global Fintech hub?

Dubai is well on its way to becoming one of the world's smartest cities, and it is investing a great deal in new technologies and innovative solutions. The adoption of blockchain technology across government entities is a key focus of the Dubai Smart City vision and it signals a shift away from traditional administration and towards the digitalization of services. Public and private sector players have been quick to adopt measures to support the growth of the fintech sector in Dubai and the region's first fintech accelerator was launched in the emirate, which will provide an opportunity for firms operating in this space to set up and conduct business in the emirate. Dubai is eyeing USD1 billion in FinTech investments through to 2022, however, this still only represents a fraction of the USD150 billion worth of investments the global industry is expected to achieve in the next three to five years, so there is clearly more room for growth in this market.

What are your expectations around the impact of Expo 2020, and its long-term effects on Dubai?

Expo 2020 will be a game changer for Dubai as it is serving as a catalyst for economic growth and transforming the city in many ways. More than USD9 billion worth of major infrastructure projects earmarked for the event and we have already seen major developments come to fruition over the last year. Looking ahead, the emirate's tourism, hospitality, logistics, aviation and retail sectors are expected to benefit the most from the high number of visitors who will attend the mega event. As the first World Expo to be hosted in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, Expo 2020 Dubai will serve as an ideal platform to facilitate global cooperation on important matters and showcase Dubai's potential as global innovation and knowledge hub connecting minds to create a brighter future. The event will provide an ideal opportunity for local and foreign companies to showcase their solutions, boost their global profile and showcase their capabilities and solutions to 25 million international visitors who will attend the six-month mega event.