The Dubai Economic Agenda, or D33, is a step in right direction and will offer growth opportunities to the expat community and diversify the economy of the UAE, say experts and business leaders.
Dr Faisel Ikram, president Pakistan Association Dubai, said it is heartening to see such a great economic move by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“Sheikh Mohammed priorities have always been his people and his country which is reflected in all his policies and decisions.
This will offer growth opportunities to the expat community to prove their talent and contribute with their skills to the vision of Dubai. The Pakistani community with all its resources and network will add to the D33 goal and become part of this landmark initiative,” Dr Ikram told Khaleej Times.
Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director, Aster DM Healthcare, said the visionary Rulers of UAE have been very foresighted in their approach to diversify the economy of UAE and be at the forefront of global economy.
“The UAE saw an exceptional 19 per cent growth in global trade during the first nine months of 2022, which is a major milestone in the economic strength of the country. And now, the announcement of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) by Sheikh Mohammed has assured the nation’s commitment towards its people and growth,” Dr Moopen said.
“Sheikh Mohammed’s vision of placing Dubai as one of the top four global financial centres within 10 years is really motivating and will empower local entrepreneurs to expand their horizons across the world. Dubai is already a leading economic hub and D33's transformative projects will further open more corridors of investment, enhance the digital transformation landscape and create endless opportunities in this vibrant city,” he said.
A clear direction
Shailesh Dash, a Dubai-based financier and serial entrepreneur, said this is a very important announcement by Sheikh Mohammed that shows the clear goal the city has for the next 10 years and the various sectors which would deliver those numbers.
“I am very hopeful that the above size of the economy would be achieved by Dubai much ahead of time with its visionary leadership and the policies as well as economic environment which has proved very attractive to the business owners and entrepreneur’s to call UAE their home which shows in its increased FDI numbers as well as various other economic indicators. A clear goal and pathway described in its Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) will go a long way in consolidating the emirate's position among the top three economic cities of the world,” Dash said.
Pankaj Mundra, cofounder 360tf Nimai and past chairman of ICAI Dubai Chapter, the Dubai Economic Agenda is achievable and it will propel the economic growth in next 10 years.
“I join the nation in congratulating Sheikh Mohammed on his 17th Accession Day anniversary — an exceptional leader whose extraordinary visions have put Dubai on the global map. We are very confident on the capabilities of execution of various initiatives taken by Dubai Government in last decade including Expo 2020, golden visa to name few,” he said.
“With the announcement of new proposed 100 transformational projects within 10 years to double the size of Dubai’s economy, we remain committed and look forward to contributing to the government vision of consolidating Dubai position among the top three economic cities of the world. Our fintech initiative 360tf is well poised to support the government D33 agenda of growing foreign trade to Dh25.6 trillion by 2033,” he said.
Naveen Sharma, honorary cultural events director and past chairman of ICAI Dubai Chapter, said it is an inspiring announcement and shows the willingness of Dubai to become one of the best cities in the world.
“The D33 includes 100 transformative projects which will make a significant contribution in boosting the GDP over the next 10 years. It will be opening doors for other cities to trade with Dubai which will increase the foreign trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country,” Sharma said.
He said the intention to increase the government expenditure over the next decade shows the willingness of Dubai to develop and advance even more.
“The D33 agenda also includes promoting the new and promising companies, programme to attract best universities which will boost the startups and education sector in the city. Dubai delivers what it promises and hopefully, we will see Dubai as one of the top 4 global financial centers by 2023,” Sharma told Khaleej Times on Wednesday.
Dubai a successful economic hub
Dr Hadi Shahid, partner at Alliott Hadi Shahid Chartered Accountants, said policies of Sheikh Mohammad have resulted making Dubai as successful economic hub of the region.
“Dubai demonstrates its ability of most modern most secured and friendly place to live raise family make international friends and develop business with easy laws and helpful government officials . Vision of Sheikh Mohammed to double the economy is a welcome announcement and impresses world business achievers . We believe in his ability of turning vision into reality,” he said.
Muhammad Nafees, director, Pakistan Business Council Dubai, said under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammed Dubai has grown in all directions and has now become a global city.
“Shaikh Mohammed has a very clear vision about Dubai. During past 17 years he has delivered what he has promised. Many were sceptical about his vision but he is a visionary leader. The UAE and world economy has gone through various ups and down in past 17 years but Dubai has come out of it stronger and brighter,” Nafees said.
“I fully agree with Sheikh Mohammed if he says that Dubai economy will be double in next 10 years. Sheikh Mohammed has given a sense of belonging to expatriates by easing visa rules. I wish him all success and support his vision,” he said.
Shabbir Merchant, managing director, Champion Neon, said Dubai's new economic agenda aims to double the size of the emirate’s economy over the next 10 years and it will undoubtedly position Dubai amongst the top three global cities.
“Dubai has proven to be ahead of the game in all aspects of economic development and we are proud to see our city go to the next level of economic development and prosperity,” he said.
Dubai a growth trajectory
Farhat Ali Khan, managing partner, Century Maxim International — a legal firm, said against the backdrop of the dire consequences of the pandemic, it is rather encouraging to see the nation’s growth trajectory over the last two years.
“From setting goals and targets focused on development to being recognized as one of the leading advocates of growth and development. The nation today is amongst the leaders striving to achieve economic upliftment while supporting sustainable and inclusive growth,” he said.
“The Ruler’s latest announcement of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 demonstrates the nation’s ability to serve as a platform for the global audience to explore, which is ultimately aimed at contributing to an economic boost. Considering the targets and expectations under the latest agenda, Dubai seems to have set in motion more job opportunities, technological development, and the diverse influx of human capital,” Khan told Khaleej Times on Wednesday.
Talking from a legal perspective, he said the D33 agenda is likely to attract investors which means a rise in the need for corporate structuring and management.
“The expected increase in the workforce and intent to promote local talent, is also a major opportunity for legal professionals to step in from a labour rights perspective and to help implement regimes that secure such incoming traffic. From data security to protection of labour rights to corporate structuring; the legal field is set to be in demand for guidance on making the best use of the opportunities available in the UAE starting 2023,” he said.
Soham Chokshi, CEO and co-founder, Shipsy (Logistics), said the economic plan set forth by Sheikh Mohammed is a promising sign of the things to come.
“As a well-connected and well-positioned trade centre, Dubai is an economic powerhouse with immense demand, which is further powered by determination, robust infrastructure, and technological innovation. It clearly underpins its rise to the podium in the global agility index and as a vital global trade hub despite adversities,” he said.
He said D33 Agenda pushes the envelope further with its transformative projects embracing a holistic approach critical to economic growth. It entails building a strong foundation of all vital spheres such as employment, environment, higher education, small and medium enterprises, international trade facilitation, and much more, he said.
“We are excited to see how logistics management technologies can contribute to the realisation of some of these goals and introduce process efficiencies in areas concerning supply chain and logistics, and sustainability. We look forward to being a part of the UAE's continued growth and success in the years ahead,” Chokshi said.
D33 a visionary project
Peter Maerevoet, global CFO and regional CEO for Asia at Tradewind Finance, said D33 is a great visionary project which will indeed bolster Dubai to further become one of the leading cities in the world.
“Dubai has always been an important global trade hub and the government fully understands the economic benefits of this. D33 is yet another positive move that works towards boosting the performance of this sector,” he said.
“This being said, the initiative will also prove to be a major boost for local SMEs, as Dubai plans to launch a scale-up program for 30 companies to become global unicorns in new economic sectors, demonstrating the UAE's commitment to supporting local SMEs and homegrown businesses.
“We commend the efforts taken by the government and are committed to assisting in the execution of this vision. This initiative will further assist trade finance industries to serve the requirements of SMEs and provide them with financial and expansion opportunities that will boost their business and in turn the economy,” Maerevoet said.
JS Anand, founder and CEO, Leva Hotels, said in the span of a few decades, Dubai has achieved economic milestones that very few other cities have been able to match.
“From being a global trade hub to today being the most preferred investment destination, Dubai has time and again taken the world by surprise through its achievements,” he said.
Maerevoet said the ‘D33’ economic agenda is yet another positive initiative taken in this direction aimed at boosting and supporting various sectors of the economy, setting economic standards that will pull investments and driving economic welfare which will help the country set yet another milestone by becoming one of the top four financial centres in the world. “Contributing to a major part of the economy, the hospitality and tourism sector is sure to benefit through this initiative as it will drive traffic as well as financial investments to the industry leading to international partnerships and mergers, attract foreign investment for the sector which will in turn help existing hoteliers provide an enhanced infrastructure and experience to their customers,” he said.
*As posted on Khaleej Times