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Dubai Providing Game-Changing Environment for Tech Talent and Innovation

Strategic implementation of incubation projects and policies and early adoption of the latest in technological advancements have made Dubai the ideal place for tech innovation, a global consulting firm has found.

The Dubai Government has been steadily developing the infrastructure related to the growth of new technologies such as big data and analytics as well as artificial intelligence and other emerging sciences that have generated immense interest from both public and private organizations.

The consultancy studied 11 tech hubs around the world that are attracting digital talent from different geographies. The findings of the study revealed that the strategies and policies of Dubai to attract such talent have “fostered strong client relationships across the region since 2019, and already has a proven track record in delivering game-changing businesses for leading public and private organizations.”

It has been estimated that the global shortage of skilled technology workers will reach 4.3 million by 2030 as a result of the high demand for digital services, specifically because of the Covid19 fallout. Dubai has been able to strategize for this paradigm shift impressively from early on and effectively across its various economic sectors.

One of the major policies of the Dubai Government has been the offering of various business visa programs that allow foreigners to obtain long-term visas as part of the Golden Visa system as well as remote work visas for start-ups and entrepreneurs who wish to reside in the UAE while working remotely with businesses outside of the UAE.

Moreover, Dubai has launched several initiatives to attract talent with the skills needed by industries targeted by the government – such as agriculture technology – within the city’s 10-point action plan for Dubai Future District, a new space dedicated to the development of the future economy, as well as an AED 1 billion fund to support new economy companies who can power Dubai’s future growth. Leading international universities have established local campuses to both attract top students and encourage the children of the current workers to remain in the UAE for their higher education.

This survey of the leading tech hubs points to three key lessons that other cities and nations can learn. These include:

●        Developing and executing a strategic plan

●        Building on existing strengths

●        Leveraging anchor companies to build broader hubs

The study underlines the importance of strategic policies that leverage existing strengths in attracting digital talent and leading tech companies that can help cities and nations foster dynamic tech hubs to create vibrant centers for international business.

As insulation against ongoing inflationary pressures, the UAE is offering select startups office space with two years of free rent, providing health insurance for their employees and streamlining the process      for the incoming talent to obtain work visas. Incubators such as Dubai’s Area 2071 are collaborating with global venture capital firms to establish local offices to support Dubai’s commitment to act as a sustainable global center of excellence, the study shows.

Dubai’s launching of its Metaverse Strategy along with dedicated groups to oversee the effective execution of the policies is a manifestation of its commitment to accelerate the digital economy trajectory. UAE’s NextGenFDI campaign aims to bring more than 300 global technology firms as well as software developers, data scientists and coders to the country. It will also provide the push for the National Program for Coders which offers golden visas to 100,000 computer coders. The UAE also aims to establish 1,000 new digital companies and increase investment in startups from approximately $400 million today to an eventual $1.3 billion.

The UAE is one of the region’s fastest-growing economies. IMF predicts this economic growth will accelerate to 4.2% in 2022, contrasting a slowdown in Europe, Asia and the US.​​ In April this year, the UAE was ranked first globally as the best ecosystem for startups and entrepreneurs, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s (GEM) 2022 report​, as well as the region’s top country in attracting foreign direct investment.​