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Increasing Innovation In The UAE Through Diversity Futuristic initiatives by the government open scope for more growth than ever for foreign businesses.

By Hisham Al Gurg

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The UAE is a country that has exemplified how diversification and an openness to innovation are crucial to growth. Ever since the UAE's formation, there has been an emphasis on pursuing economic diversification, and reducing its reliance on hydrocarbons, which was a primary economic pillar. The UAE acted fasted on these intentions, and set itself on a journey to becoming a crucial industrial development hub.

One of the key drivers of innovation, which is acknowledged as a priority in the nation, is increasing diversity. A Boston Consulting Group study found that diversity leads to 19% higher revenues due to innovation. It shows that diversity is not just a metric to be strived for; it is an essential part of a successful revenue-generating business.

In general, the UAE and Dubai in particular, has opened new avenues enabling startups and entrepreneurs globally to leverage the supportive financial and legal regulations. With recent developments including 100% foreign ownership in businesses, as well as the expansion of a 10-year golden visa scheme to include a larger group of professionals, these futuristic initiatives by the government open scope for more growth than ever for foreign businesses.

Moreover, the efforts towards digitalization, fintech advancements, adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), and e-commerce are top government priorities as per the UAE's vision of becoming a digital nation. It would be apt to say that proactive and entrepreneur-friendly policies have played a crucial role in building a digital culture across the UAE. Gradually, as technology started taking precedence and began to enter every known industry, the UAE fared nothing less than exemplary.

Technological diversification, digital transformation, and entrepreneurship played a significant part in this significant growth. Given that the UAE is the first country in the world to have a minister of artificial intelligence shows the country's progress in the field of technology, and its crystal-clear intentions towards scaling new heights in the realm of the fourth industrial revolution, and attracting innovators from all around the world.

Seed Group, a company of the Private Office of H.H. Sheikh Saeed Bin Ahmad Al Maktoum, is an active catalyst in this context. Helping technology companies of all size and stature to come to Dubai and make it their new business address since 2004, we have seen the economic landscape shape into what it is today. Today, despite COVID-19, we look at an investment scene rich with opportunities for big corporations as well as startups. Our region's entrepreneurial ecosystem is supported by a young and growing consumer market full of potential, with high technology adoption rates.

The role of technology is impartial for a successful economy, hence the rising trend of investing in technological advancements in healthcare and finance, to name a few. At SEED Group, we are truly passionate about business in the region. We have a diverse mix of companies that we own, partner with, and invest in. Upon making a strategic or financial investment, we also make sure to form a long-term partnership with the organizations.

The UAE is blessed with stable economic and political scenes, making it favorable for foreign investors, and our role is to highlight that and push that notion forward. We continue to seek innovative companies to help them scale their business by having a regional tax-free hub in the vibrant city of Dubai.

Related: 12 Years In 12 Months: What 2020 Taught Me As An Entrepreneur

Hisham Al Gurg

CEO, The Seed Group, and the Private Office of H.H. Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum

Hisham Al Gurg is CEO at the Seed Group, and the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum. With over 18 years of experience in setting up and running new ventures in the MENA region, Al Gurg is a pioneer in the region for his visionary approach, high profile networking, and for concluding and managing large regional projects and investments worth more than US$1.06 billion.

Al Gurg has started and managed eight growing companies in six diversified industries in seven countries including USA, UK, and Australia. He is a published author and a public speaker on the topic of conducting mega transactions with governments and large corporates, and his entrepreneurial skills make him a great board member of several multinational companies.

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