Dubai has proved itself as the topmost destination for business owners to set up businesses in the Middle East thanks to the massive infrastructure it has created over the years, ease of doing business, business-friendly government policies, stable leadership and economy, and above all its strategic location as a gateway to the rest of the world. There is no doubt the government policies support the growth of small and medium enterprises and Dubai offers a plethora of investment opportunities to the international business community, especially investors from India. Dubai is, in fact, keen on attracting innovative minds from India as it is repositioning itself as a knowledge-based economy anchored on emerging technologies. Towards this end, the UAE Government recently went one step further allowing 100% ownership for overseas investors. In this congenial climate, it is only worthwhile to explore the sectors that hold exciting growth opportunities for Indian startups and innovators.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ‘in thing.’ Its application is not confined to Hollywood films alone. Many business owners are increasingly using this technology to enhance their operational efficiency and customer outcome even while reducing operational cost. The Dubai Government is collaborating with many innovative minds in the field in its efforts to find sustainable business solutions. As AI adoption will account for 45 per cent of the world economy’s total gain by 2030, it is heartening to note that Dubai has already identified the sectors where AI could be put into application comprehensively. Dubai’s commitment to AI got cemented further when it appointed a state minister for artificial intelligence in 2017. “Our aim is not to have the most data, but to unleash the greatest value from data, creating new opportunities and improved experiences for all,” says Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. That explains why it is worth doing business in this sector.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
International Data Corporation (IDC) projects the market for VR and AR, which let people do things virtually and extremely close to the real world, in the Middle East and Africa to increase to $6 billion. Any investment in VR and AR in Dubai could be a step in the right direction since the city is increasingly modernising its education, retail, manufacturing, real estate, healthcare, travel and tourism sectors.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Dubai Internet of Things (IoT) strategy aims to build the world’s most advanced IoT ecosystem protecting Dubai’s digital wealth, encouraging government departments to join the emirate’s smart transformation and achieve the objectives of the Smart Dubai Plan 2021. IoT has the potential to fundamentally change business models and value chains in companies and it has the ability to connect all products with the internet in a cost effective way. The IoT market in the Middle East project to reach $12.62 billion this year, according to International Data Corporation (IDC) and a major chunk of this growth is expected to happen in Dubai. So, it would be a smart idea to explore the opportunities that IoT behold.
Deliver through Drones
The ongoing pandemic and restrictions on public movement and gatherings is forcing businesses, especially, the e-commerce sector, to look at contact-less delivery. Towards this objective, Dubai last year notably took a revolutionary step to create a commercial drone network setting out plans for miniature helipads and air traffic control system. The Dubai Sky Dome Project would allow delivery of packages and even transport of passengers. Citing global studies, head of Dubai Sky Dome Project, Mohamed Abudllah Lengawi says drone transport systems market holds considerable promises. Market for drones and drone technology in the Gulf countries is expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2022 and again most growth is expected to happen centering around Dubai. So, it is time to fly a drone, deliver and arrive.
Dubai last year did a test run of the first autonomous air taxi capable of carrying two passengers. The move echoes Dubai’s Smart Autonomous Mobility Strategy. The strategy seeks to transform a quarter of the total mobility journeys in Dubai into autonomous transport by 2030. The strategy also aims to enhance integration between mass transit modes and people’s happiness by providing smooth, fast and innovative transit modes. This unique initiative has opened up another exciting opportunity for businesses either in direct or auxiliary form since technology and support mechanisms would be the key.
If you have a startup dream, you can transform that into a reality by becoming part of an ecosystem dedicated to bringing the latest Fintech solutions to Dubai and the Middle East region. As the need of the financial community undergoes continuous churn across the Middle East, The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Fintech Hive plays a pivotal role in bringing together established financial institutions, government entities, technology partners and creative entrepreneurs. So, if you are an innovator with unique Fintech solutions looking to grow your startup in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, then Dubai could be the right place to begin.
Cloud storage solutions are in great demand globally since they help even small businesses access cloud service eliminating the need for major IT infrastructure investments. Cloud computing has also gained importance as many organisations make digital transformation as part of their business strategy. It is estimated that the UAE cloud market would cross $ 325 million by the end of the current year. Indian innovators have a strong IT background and they could thrive in Dubai’s cloud computing scene.
The global market for 3D printing is rapidly growing and it is expected to reach $300 billion by 2025. The 3D printing technology eases the production process in a variety of sectors and experts say it will reduce construction and labour cost by 50% and construction waste up to 60%. It was in 2016 when Dubai Government launched the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy to transform Dubai into a leading user, producer and exporter of global 3D printing processes, technologies and associated services. The 3D printing technology helped Dubai in fighting Covid-19 by producing masks in massive scale. As this technology becomes increasingly popular, experts say, it would be a good idea to invest in this sector.
Dubai is working on a self-set target of grabbing the Number 1 position in the Global Food Security Index by 2051. The UAE, in fact, has placed emphasis on food security since it imports 85 per cent of its food. That is why we see vertical farming, smart farming, hydroponics and aeroponics taking off here. It is true that Dubai is looking to capitalise on its global gateway status and re-export hub in the fast moving fresh food sales sector which is currently valued at 280.5 million tones in volume. Meanwhile, a report by Emirates Authority of Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) notes that there has been a 53 per cent increase in the organic farms across the UAE last year. That explains why it makes sense to invest in the agritech business in Dubai which has become more conscious about food security in the wake of the ongoing pandemic.
Minister of State for Food Security Mariam Al Mheiri has said that aquaculture would emerge as one of the breakout industries in the UAE. She further maintains that it is crucial to attract further investment in this sector because aquaculture represents a central component of the country’s National Food Security Strategy and fish is one among the 18 strategic food items. Investing in Dubai’s aquaculture sector is a worthwhile opportunity for Indian players considering India’s inherent strengths in the fisheries sector. For the uninitiated, India is the world’s second largest fish producer and also world number two in aquaculture production.
DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Dubai Business.