THE BUSINESS YEAR: DUBAI 2014 LAUNCHED

Dubai, November 18, 2014—Dubai FDI, the investment development agency in the Department of Economic Development (DED), in partnership with the leading international business consultancy and publishing company, The Business Year, has launched the third edition of its special publication on the business and investment landscape in Dubai.

'The Business Year: Dubai 2014' was released at a special ceremony in Dubai today. The publication comprises around 160 interviews from top executives and government officials, including an exclusive foreword from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

“The run-up to Dubai Expo 2020, and the ambitious strategic plans unveiled by individual Emirates as well as the Federation at large, are certain to help the UAE repeat a feat that we have routinely accomplished throughout our illustrious history—to be the best," says His Highness.

His Excellency Abdullah Al Saleh, Under Secretary for Foreign Trade and Industry at the UAE Ministry of Economy, who was the Guest of Honour at the launch ceremony, said economic policy in the UAE has always stressed on diversification, removing barriers to trade, and creating a level playground for investors and entrepreneurs. “Dubai and its innovative growth agenda has contributed substantially to the UAE success story," added Al Saleh.

“Globally, doing business is undergoing rapid transformation with knowledge, technology, connectivity, and sustainability being the new keywords. Dubai's development vision combines all these factors, complemented by a strategic location. The Business Year: Dubai 2014 provides a comprehensive picture of the emerging Dubai and identifies the engines of its growth for the benefit of the investor community," commented Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI.

Ayse Valentin, CEO of The Business Year, said: “We are very proud to continue our collaborative efforts with Dubai FDI and the Department of Economic Development in Dubai. Both organizations have been instrumental in our research and efforts to diagram an exciting and vast economy. We hope that through our analysis we may continue to support the aspirations of Dubai to be one of the premier economic centers in the world."

The interviews in the publication sum up the importance of the UAE's bilateral relations with partner countries and pinpoint specific business opportunities and initiatives that will sculpt Dubai's economic development. Dubai's potential as a regional hub and bridge to fast-growing markets is captured in the publication for the benefit of investors and businesses worldwide.

His Excellency Francisco Rivadeneira, Minister of International Trade in Ecuador, speaking in the publication, points to Dubai's proximity to “interesting emerging markets" across the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.

“If Ecuador aims to promote and export its products within the region, Dubai plays a fundamental role," says Rivadeneira, adding that ports in Dubai, Dubai International Airport, and the free trade zones together can connect Ecuadorean companies to promising markets.

His Excellency Yoon Saang-Jick, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea, speaks of the UAE's geographical advantage and well-developed and growing non-oil industries, which he says are likely to lead the growth of the UAE economy in future.

“Dubai accounts for 30% of the UAE economy and has sound finances. In particular, real estate prices, which plummeted after the 2008 financial crisis, are gradually recovering," the Korean minister says, adding that he is looking forward to see more exchanges between SMEs and mutual investment.

Heads of leading businesses across the region share their views on Dubai's reputation as a hub and facilitator of global trade and business development.

Speaking of his company's operations based out of Dubai, Jean Claude Farah, President of MEA, APAC, Eastern Europe & CIS of Western Union Financial Services, Inc., says: “In terms of the infrastructure, opportunities, and talent you can hire and recruit to serve your interests as a company, Dubai makes sense for Western Union. A more difficult question to answer would be, 'why not Dubai?' Given all that Dubai has to offer, it was tough to choose any other city."

“It is a good networking place. Dubai is a fast-growing location. It is safe and secure, and the financial system here is easy to work with," Mike Douglas, President and CEO of the multinational SKA Group, says in his interview with The Business Year: Dubai 2014.

The launch ceremony was followed by a panel discussion on the Islamic economy, moderated by Leland Rice, Managing Editor, The Business Year. Panelists included Abdullah Al Awar, CEO, Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, Jamal Bin Ghalaita, CEO, Emirates Islamic, Badr Buhannad, Chief Audit and Risk Officer at Dubai International Financial Centre, and Randa Bessiso, Director Middle East, Manchester Business School.

The Business Year: Dubai 2014 publication will reach a global audience of 87,000 readers via its printed version, while a wider audience will be able to access it through TBY's iPad, iPhone and Android applications.