Jul. 6, 2015

HE Hamad Buamim

UAE, Dubai

HE Hamad Buamim

President & CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry

TBY talks to HE Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, on linking markets, connections with Africa, and e-commerce and services.


HE Hamad Buamim has been the President and CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry since November 2006. He is Vice-Chairman of the World Chambers Federation-ICC in Paris. Educated in the USA, he graduated with honors (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering. In 2002, he obtained an MBA with Honors in finance from the University of Missouri in Kansas City. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the UAE Central Bank, Board Member of Dubai World, Chairman of National General Insurance, and Board Member of Union Properties. Previously, he served as Chairman of Emirates Financial Services, Chairman of Emirates NBD Capital, and Board Member of Emirates NBD Bank and Network International.

Dubai Chamber organized the Africa Global Business Forum 2014, which brought government and business leaders together from the UAE, the Middle East, and Africa. What significance did this have on connecting these dynamic regions?

Dubai has done business with Africa for a long time and Africa has always been an important business and trading partner with the Emirates. Dubai Chamber has been working hard to enhance trade and commercial ties across the continent for a number of years. With the hosting of the annual Africa Global Business Forum we see an extended opportunity to review Africa's diverse business cultures and explore some of the opportunities for establishing joint partnerships with Dubai's private sector. Last year's Forum provided an insight into investment prospects across Africa and Dubai's position as an ideal partner. The impressive line-up of local, regional, and international speakers discussed areas in relation to trade, finance, logistics, agro-business, and tourism and provided tips on building successful corporate partnerships with regional economic trading blocs. As the Forum brought Africa and the world to Dubai, the spotlight will fall on Dubai's status as an East meets West destination and a world-class hub for major global events, exhibitions, and conferences. As a high-level networking event, AGBF also highlighted the Emirate's accessible corporate climate, unconditional government support to foreign investors, as well as its advanced infrastructural, banking, and financial services. Dubai Chamber's commitment to the African region does not end with the Forum, but will be further strengthened with new initiatives and enhanced bilateral relations, which both sides will endeavour to make a success of while leading to the economic prosperity of our respective regions, including the opening of several Dubai Chamber branch offices to drive two-way business and investment.

What role do e-commerce and smart services play in the advancement of both the private and public sector business climate?

Embracing online technology is something that all modern businesses need to do to stay competitive today. The UAE accounts for about 60% of the share of e-commerce in the region. Today, traders know the importance of operating a modern business as well as having an online presence, which gives maximum exposure to their products 24/7. Also, the ability to spend online has created a profound advanced effect on the broader economy while improving the efficiency and availability of products without the need to build extensive networks of physical stores. Dubai Chamber offers many of its services online and has also an exclusive agreement with Alibaba for the MENA region that offers its members elite benefits to help them increase export opportunities and facilitate trade through e-commerce. Dubai Chamber's partnership with Alibaba.com seeks to apply the concept of smart trade in line with the strategy of transforming Dubai into a Smart City, recommended by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Alibaba.com has 36 million registered users from more than 240 countries and regions and showcases 2.8 million supplier storefronts. Dubai Chamber and Alibaba.com signed an MoU to launch the MENA portal Dubaichamber.com/alibaba, two years ago. Earlier this year, Dubai Chamber signed MoUs with Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah Chambers of Commerce to grant portal access and exclusive benefits to its members. The portal has various tiers of membership including verified membership, which has reached 12,000 Dubai Chamber members, and trusted membership. Trusted members receive an accredited digital certificate issued by Dubai Chamber that they can upload on their e-profile to enhance reputation and increase exposure.