Published March 2, 2023

2 minute read

Dubai’s Vision for the Next Decade: Building a Sustainable and Digital Economy (D33)

In this session, H.E Helal Al Marri discusses Dubai's D33 strategic vision for the next ten years and highlights the importance of partnerships between private and public sectors and the impact of digital currencies and blockchain.

Session Speakers: 

H.E. Helal Al Marri

H.E. Helal Al Marri

Director General, Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism

Hadley Gamble

Hadley Gamble

Senior International Correspondent, CNBC


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Key Takeaways

  • Dubai has launched a new strategic vision for the next decade called D33, which aims to establish partnerships between the public and private sectors in critical areas such as talent and ESG, focusing on key sectors, including financial services, technology, and manufacturing. 
  • The UAE has implemented virtual asset regulations that benefit companies and investors. The full regulation was implemented in February, providing a safe and confident environment for the industry. 
  • The UAE is open to exploring new sectors, such as AI and blockchain, that will impact the financial sector, financial institutions, logistics, and other sectors.
  • Dubai's governance is a crucial factor in attracting investors and boosting confidence in the market. The UAE has taken measures to ensure governance, giving investors a safe and stable environment.
  • The UAE's position as a central hub for global trade and investments in logistics capability and infrastructure will help support economic recovery.

In a session titled “D33: A New Economy,” H.E. Helal Al Marri, Director General of the Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai, discussed Dubai’s new strategic vision, D33, which aims to map out the city’s path for the next ten years. D33 considers the various initiatives and strategies implemented in the past to create a clear roadmap for the future. The UAE and Dubai have made significant progress over the last few decades in terms of hard and soft infrastructure, which has put them in an excellent position for growth. The strategy focuses on forging partnerships between the private and public sectors in critical areas such as talent, ESG, and all sectors, including finance, technology, and manufacturing.

During the session, moderated by Hadley Gamble of CNBC, Al Marri also discussed the role of digital currencies in the UAE’s economic strategy. He emphasized that although crypto and digital currencies’ impact on GDP is relatively small, these sectors are still crucial for the country’s long-term vision. The UAE is looking to build the necessary ecosystem and environment for these industries to thrive in the future, particularly in areas such as Web 3.0 and blockchain. Al Marri believes these technologies will significantly impact the financial sector, logistics, and many other sectors.

Al Marri also touched on the topic of regulation, emphasizing the importance of working closely with the industry to create regulations that are suitable for them. He cited the recent case of FTX, where the UAE’s virtual asset regulator quickly put regulations in place to protect the economy and investors, showing the country’s confidence in its regulatory framework.

Regarding the IPO pipeline for 2023, Al Marri discussed the impact of inflation and recessionary pressures felt globally. He stated that the UAE’s positioning in the global supply chain, investment in data and logistics capability, and young population with healthy growth rates mean the country is in an excellent position to weather the economic storm. While he did not provide specific figures for IPOs, Al Marri emphasized that the focus is on getting governance in place, which has brought confidence to the market. 

Finally, Al Marri addressed concerns around Dubai’s relationship with Russia, stating that tourism flows have remained buoyant due to the country’s diversified strategy and airlift, even during the pandemic. He emphasized that talent and multinational companies are welcome in Dubai, and the country will continue to abide by UN rules and regulations. When asked about re-exports from Russia, Al Marri reiterated that the UAE will continue to comply with UN rules. 

In conclusion, D33 offers a clear path for Dubai’s economic growth over the next ten years, focusing on strategic partnerships and key sectors and creating the necessary ecosystem for emerging industries such as digital currencies. The UAE’s positioning in the global supply chain, investment in data and logistics capability, and strong governance mean the country is well-equipped to weather the current economic challenges.

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