A new district under the name of Dubai Future District dedicated to the new economy will take shape in Dubai as per the directions of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Sheikh Mohammed, during the second Dubai Council’s meeting, also announced the launch of a Dh1 billion ($272 million) fund to support new economy companies who will operate out of Dubai Future District, and who have the potential and foresight to drive Dubai’s new economy and contribute to enhancing the emirate's position as a preferred destination for global talents and entrepreneurs, said a Wam news agency report.
The new district, along with the new fund, will provide unprecedented financing and legislative facilities and options for businesses.
The Dubai Future District project includes three prominent areas in Dubai: Dubai World Trade Centre, Emirates Towers and Dubai International Financial Centre, all of which have contributed since their establishment to achieving great successes in the economy of Dubai and the UAE. These areas will be connected through a bridge inspired by the Museum of the Future.
The integration of the three areas will make Dubai Future District the largest innovation area in the world, thus consolidating Dubai's leadership as the largest economic hub in the region, and providing more success opportunities for entrepreneurs who are looking for growth and expansion in the markets of the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
The Dubai Future District initiative acts as an umbrella to many joint projects that will be launched in line with the 4th of January 2020 Document that was announced by Sheikh Mohammed, and in which he pledged to continue working on developing the emirate by welcoming national and international talents, building new partnerships that create job opportunities and provide financing to entrepreneurs and startups, and adopting initiatives that facilitate the establishment of new companies and the launch of innovative ideas to design the economy of the future.
Ten initiatives will be launched in the coming period to support the economy of the future by providing an attractive investment, technological, legislative, service and enabling environment that is the best of its kind in the region and globally.
The first initiative is the Dubai Future Economy Fund, which is dedicated to future economy entrepreneurs in Dubai and the region by providing all kinds of support and facilities that are needed by tech startups in their early stages.
The fund aims to enhance Dubai’s position as a preferred destination to establish future economy companies, increase the contribution of the new economy companies in the GDP, create job opportunities, and support private sector and foreign investments in Dubai’s future economy companies.
Office of future economy companies is the second initiative, in which an office for future economy companies will be established and tasked with issuing special five-year residency visas to future entrepreneurs. It will also issue licences for innovative projects, provide banking facilities to future economy entrepreneurs, offer world-class legal services to entrepreneurs, and provide flexible work spaces, training services and workshops.
The third initiative is the legislative licences to innovate and experiment technologies of the future economy. Under this initiative, future economic entrepreneurs will be able to obtain legislative licences to test their innovations in designated areas that will serve as pilot areas, through the Legislative Laboratory and District 2071. These pilot areas will contribute to supporting the economy of the emirate of Dubai.
Examples of innovation pilot areas include an autonomous car trial area, a drone trial area for civilian use, an AI trial area in hospitals and an augmented and virtual reality trial area in malls.
Fourth on the list is reduced housing prices for future economy pioneers. Under this initiative, future economy entrepreneurs can take advantage of available housing options at a unit price lesser than Dh3,000 per month. For this purpose, District 2071 will partner with real estate developers to provide housing options at the targeted price.
While the fifth initiative will see a unified platform for financing and consulting future economy entrepreneurs. Through this initiative, space will be allocated within District 2071 as a unified platform for many entrepreneurs, experts and investors in the future economy, so that future economy companies can obtain the funding and consultations necessary to start and expand their activities through this platform.
A new exchange for future economy companies is the sixth initiative. Under the umbrella of DIFC, a stock exchange allocated for future economy companies will allow them to obtain financing and raise capital in a more flexible system.
In order to obtain financing and reduce the burden of the initial public offering procedures, the exchange aims to provide the necessary infrastructure for future economy companies, to motivate investors and their shares’ trading, while facilitating the ways of selling their investment shares.
The seventh initiative will see the formation of the largest space for future economy companies’ incubators and accelerators. This space will be the largest incubator of its kind in the MENA region to assist future economy companies in their initial founding stages, by providing training in innovation and developing prototypes, in addition to providing an opportunity to benefit from the network of partners and available facilities.
The Future Economy Research Centre - the eighth initiative - will contribute to the design of applied research through several specialised laboratories (in the field of robotics, artificial intelligence, etc.) so that the centrewill form a platform for scientific research and the joint cooperation with government and private sectors.
Under the centres umbrella, examples of specialised laboratories are the Robotic Systems Lab, which aims to support and unify the main entities’ efforts in developing the computer science and robotics for government and private sectors.
The ninth initiative will see graduating future economy companies from national universities. A programme aimed at consolidating the culture of entrepreneurship and encouraging the students of government and private university in the country, to establish economy companies, so that students in the acceleration phase can work to transform their innovative ideas into future economy companies.
The programme will provide many services to support innovative students, including allocating workspaces, providing mentoring and guidance, providing educational materials, as well as providing opportunities to obtain grants and funding from government and private agencies.
Lastly, international conferences on the economy and companies of the future will see the Dubai Future District host the largest and most important international events and conferences seeking to provide global platforms for future economy leaders to communicate through, explore growth prospects and present their projects to a larger audience.