Jan. 11, 2015

Hamad Buamim

UAE, Dubai

Hamad Buamim

President & CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry


Hamad Buamim has been the President & CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry since November 2006. He also serves as the Vice-Chairman of the World Chambers Federation-ICC in Paris. He graduated with Honors from UCLA in 1996, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering. In 2002, he obtained an MBA in Finance from the University of Missouri. Prior to joining the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, he was the Secretary-General of Dubai Economic Council, a Corporate Manager at HSBC Bank, a Lecturer in Finance and Banking at the UAE University’s College of Business and Economics, and a Senior Systems Engineer at Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

Dubai Chamber strives to help businessmen and enterprises to interact with the Dubai business community. What has been the Chamber's formula to achieve synergy between the international and local business arenas?

Dubai Chamber's strategic plan focuses on three areas. One of those is providing information and advice to the business community, two is being a voice for the business community, and three is promoting Dubai and the businesses operating here in international markets, which includes our own overseas expansion. Overall, the effect is to help attract global enterprises to the Emirate and assist home-grown talent to expand abroad, which is helping to achieve this great synergy between the international and local business arenas. Meanwhile, we also organize several international-scale events each year that attract participants from across the world to attend. For example, in 2014 we are organizing both our own event, the Africa Global Business Forum, and an external one, the 10th World Islamic Economic Forum, in Dubai in October, which will each attract thousands of international business leaders, heads of state, and policymakers.

World Expo 2020 is expected to add $23 billion to the economy, as well as about 277,000 new jobs. In your opinion, what will be the impact of the event, as well as its aftermath, on Dubai's economy?

Expo 2020 will be very positive for Dubai's economy. Our Dubai Traders Outlook Survey 2014 revealed that 51% of traders are expecting sales to increase thanks to the event. You are right to say that it is expected to add $23 billion to the economy, which equates to 24.4% of GDP and will be spread over the 2015-2021 period. According to a Merrill Lynch report, this growth equates to an annual 3.5% of GDP, with the bulk likely to materialize around the event itself. In terms of new jobs, I think 277,000 is a conservative figure; however, of that number, 40% are expected to be created in the hotel and restaurant sector, 30% in the construction sector, peaking in 2018-19, and the remaining 30% in tertiary sectors, such as transport and logistics, business services, and retail.

You often stress how Dubai is regarded not only as a commercial hub, but also as a window for the greater GCC region. What are the key peculiarities that define Dubai as a world-class business destination?

Dubai has many advantages for business, including excellent infrastructure, world-class logistics, and a business climate that is tax-free and supports and protects investors. Dubai has excellent air, land, and sea connectivity, not only to the GCC but to the Middle Eastern, Indian, and African markets. Dubai businesses also benefit from strong government support and new initiatives that are strengthening protection for investors and increasing the ease of doing business.

The Chamber's membership has reached about 150,000 members currently. What is the Chamber's strategy in attracting, recruiting, and maintaining stable partnerships with enterprises?

We aim to provide services and support that meet the needs of our members and the wider Dubai business community. Whether that is legal support in the form of contract drafting services or mediation and arbitration, or organizing networking and business-matching events and welcoming international delegations, we are keen to put the interests of our members first. Our development strategy includes being an advocate that promotes our members' interests, providing business intelligence like information about markets, investment opportunities, and setting up commercial enterprises here and in our key overseas markets, as well as our international expansion, which is about promoting our city and our members' interests here and abroad.