- Sharjah presents investors with plentiful growth opportunities due to its supportive business environment, solid connectivity, infrastructure, and entrepreneurial mindset.
- Three megatrends characterize upcoming roads for investment: digitization, sustainability, and resiliency.
- The Department of Government Relations in Sharjah builds partnerships with other cities to work on common projects or areas that feed into a common set of values between the two sides. Partnerships focus on sectors in which Sharjah can have added value and can compete.
- The Sharjah Health Authority welcomes all kinds of investment and a wide range of services that fall within the scope of the healthcare city and that of offering good affordable services within the UAE and the region.
- The Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) aims to accelerate the pace of innovation across different areas, including protection design, architecture, and transport logistics. SRTIP develops an innovation ecosystem, talent, scales up and commercializes technologies, and creates ventures that allow enterprises to strive.
- The Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah) helps investors to invest in UAE and Sharjah. Sharjah redefined investment sectors through a series of consultations, including agrotechnology, the healthcare system, logistics and transportation, tourism, and entrepreneurship and human capital.
- Sharjah Media City (Shams) offers user-friendly online solutions, including licensing, and on-the-go support. The platform is fully based on blockchain and is also working towards adopting cryptocurrency payments for licensing fees.
- Sharjah has potential and talent and is open for business. It is an easy destination to do business and has recently launched the Sharjah investor center, a one-stop-shop to open a business both onshore or within a free zone.
Sharjah, the third-largest emirate of the United Arab Emirates, is setting its sights on becoming a destination for innovation industries as it combines infrastructure, innovation, and collaboration. At the Investopia 2022 Inaugural summit, an “Investment Opportunities in Sharjah” session discussed the promising investment opportunities in emerging sectors that shape the emirate’s future development strategy. The Policy & Community Lead, International Trade & Investment at WEF, Matthew Stephenson moderated the session.
Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Bin Khalid Al Qasimi, the Department of Government Relations Chairman, emphasized that Sharjah’s relations around the world and its investment partnerships or cultural relations, as well as education ties, span the globe. Building partnerships with other cities means finding opportunities to work on joint projects or areas that feed into a standard and shared values between the two sides. Throughout partnerships, the focus is on sectors where Sharjah can add value and compete. Signing MOUs with other cities is a celebration of the work done to build such partnerships beyond the contractual aspect of it.
H.E. Dr. Abdulaziz Al Muhairi, the Director-General of Sharjah Health Authority, described how Sharjah aims to establish itself as a regional healthcare destination. The Sharjah Health Authority welcomes all kinds of investment and a wide range of services that fall within the scope of the healthcare city and that of offering good affordable services within the UAE and the region. Although the pandemic was a strain on the healthcare sectors worldwide, it provided the drive to optimize, scale up, or divert many areas of productivity. The pandemic also pushed for more R&D in the healthcare sector, looking into vaccination, treatment, and understanding the effects of the pandemic. The Sharjah Health Authority believes more than ever in the value of collaboration and resilience investment.
H.E. Hussein Al Mahmoudi, the Chairman of the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP), described the objective of SRTIP to accelerate innovation across different areas such as protection design, architecture, and transport logistics. This aligns with the UAE’s agenda to become a center for innovation industries. SRTIP fulfills this objective through four main activities: developing an innovation ecosystem, developing talents, scaling up and commercializing technologies, and creating ventures that allow enterprises to strive. The park has been very fortunate to manage and execute technologies on the ground, such as printing concrete and plastic, offering labs metaverse virtual reality, and healthcare-related hubs, such as genome sequencing and 3D printing of 4 million face shields. According to H.E. Hussein Al Mahmoudi, opportunities in every sector exist. More specifically, the UAE identifies five main sectors for investors: the evolving healthcare system, transport and logistics, agriculture, digitization, and FinTech and NFTs.
H.E. Mohamed Al Musharrakh, the CEO of the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), explained that the investment promotion agency in Sharjah helps investors to invest in the UAE and Sharjah, either in free zones or the ecosystem out of the free zones. Sharjah has a competitive advantage in attracting investors with new legislation in the UAE that allows for 100% foreign ownership out of the free zones, a game-changer in attracting investors. Sharjah strategically redefined investment sectors through a series of consultations. These include AgroTechnology, the healthcare system, logistics and transportation, tourism, entrepreneurship, and human capital. Sharjah recently launched the Sharjah investor center, a one-stop-shop for opening a business both onshore or within a Free Zone.
Sharjah Media City (Shams) Managing Director H.E. Shihab Al Hammadi shared insights about the growth and success of the media industry in Sharjah. The company was established to provide a platform for easy access to the market and build an ecosystem that allows companies to grow, participate, and collaborate. Shams offers user-friendly online solutions such as licensing and on-the-go support, starting with the initiation and launching of a business. The platform is fully based on blockchain technology, and Shams is working towards adopting cryptocurrency payments for licensing fees.
The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the demand towards downsizing and cost-cutting solutions, and Shams offered alternatives to help businesses survive. Al Hammadi shared a message for investors, encouraging them not to wait ten years and regret missed opportunities. He said, “There is always a chance for new technology, opportunity in the market; don’t wait for ten years then look back with regret. Just take a step forward and wait and see what happens.”
In closing, the speakers reiterated Sharjah’s commitment to growth and development, highlighting the investment opportunities in the emirate’s emerging sectors that will shape its future development strategy. Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Bin Khalid Al Qasimi encouraged investors to consider Sharjah’s potential and talent. H.E. Dr. Abdulaziz Al Muhairi emphasized the importance of international collaboration in the healthcare sector. H.E. Hussein Al Mahmoudi stressed the importance of talent in technology and innovation. At the same time, H.E. Mohamed Al Musharrakh highlighted the ease of doing business in Sharjah and the recently launched Sharjah Investor Center, a one-stop shop for opening a business both onshore or within a free zone.
The Investopia 2022 Inaugural Summit provided valuable insights into Sharjah’s investment opportunities and its commitment to growth and development. Sharjah’s supportive business environment, solid connectivity, infrastructure, and entrepreneurial mindset presents investors with plentiful growth opportunities. By focusing on the emerging sectors shaping the emirate’s future development strategy, Sharjah is well-positioned to attract investment and establish itself as a regional leader in innovation, healthcare, and technology.