The UAE has launched "NextGenFDI", a major campaign to attract digitally-enabled companies and highly skilled talent to the country.
Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, who oversees the file to attract FDI and global talent to the country, said NextGenFDI would encourage more than 300 global technology firms and software developers, data scientists and coders to relocate to the UAE.
An expanding array of measures have been introduced to make the market entry process for companies simpler and more efficient. These include rapid and flexible incorporation processes to speed up licensing, bulk visa issuances, banking facilitation and commercial and residential lease incentives. Seven strategic partners have signed up under the initiative so far, such as Financial centres Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), freezones Dubai South and DMCC, tech hub Dubai Internet City, banks Emirates NBD and WIO. More are expected to join in subsequent phases.
NextGenFDI aims to leverage the UAE’s unique competitive advantage and global standing as a leading business, investment, and innovation hub to support the growth of the nation’s knowledge-driven economy. The campaign was launched by Dr. Al Zeyoudi alongside senior representatives from NextGenFDI.
NextGenFDI is aimed at seeking out businesses from all over the world that are focused on applied technology within various sectors and providing them with the necessary market entry fundamentals needed to launch and scale from within the UAE. These companies have highly skilled developers, coders and consultants within AI, gaming, data science and software. Housing such talent within the UAE is of vital importance and this new initiative will make the market entry process for bright minds with great ideas as seamless as possible.
"Large and SME businesses from across the world are approaching us and asking how they can relocate their talent, ideas and high-growth ventures to the UAE," said Dr. Al Zeyoudi. "The global interest in 2022 is unprecedented and while we are already working with some, we know many more want to follow suit. We want to ensure that the world’s most promising digital companies can access all the benefits that our attractive, business-friendly environment offers – but we also want to make it easy for them. NextGenFDI is designed to ensure that our market entry process is as streamlined and coordinated as our technology ecosystem."
He added, "On one hand, this is about hyper-practical measures – making it painless and rewarding for companies to relocate here. On the other, in the wake of the pandemic and the UAE’s actions to position itself as a highly agile and resilient economy, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring some of the finest minds to the UAE and contribute to our drive to become the world’s leading innovation hub for years to come. The UAE has a relentless focus on helping next-generation businesses to scale at speed and the leaders of future industries recognise that. If you’re a company with a strong idea, the UAE would like to see it materialise and we’re here to make that process as simple and efficient as possible."
Dr. Al Zeyoudi further stated, "This is an opportunity that comes by only once every generation to attract the smartest and most qualified to our country in support of our efforts to make the UAE the leading innovative hub of the future. We want to ensure that promising digital companies in the world can access all the benefits provided by our attractive and business-friendly investment environment."
The UAE is one of the region’s fastest-growing economies. IMF predicts economic growth will accelerate to 4.2 percent 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 leading top country to attract foreign direct investment.
As a key pillar of its talent attraction drive, the National Programme for Coders is offering 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 US$400 million to US$1.3 billion. The NextGenFDI initiative will complement and accelerate these efforts.
In line with DIFC Strategy 2030, the Centre is supporting sustained economic growth and further differentiating Dubai as a global hub for financial institutions, FinTech businesses and innovation companies.