The United Arab Emirates may be known for their vast oil reserves but unique and innovative ideas may come to fruition in the near future with a new program aimed at entrepreneurs. The proposed program will focus on the bright ideas that come from Emiratis who want to bring their ideas to life, whether those ideas are products or services. Currently, the UAE doesn’t have a system in place that helps innovators develop their ideas and the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development has the plans of starting an incubator program that does just that.
The proposed incubator program would give Emiratis the opportunity to present new ideas and apply them to comprehensive services that can bring them into reality. This support process would take about two years to fully implement into the small and medium enterprises sector which includes two initial phases. Since the UAE is economically reliant on oil, the program can help create other profitable sectors with innovation that can be shared nationally and worldwide. If successful, the head of the Khalifa Fund, Hussain al Nowais, could add the feat to his biography that is already quite impressive.
The first phase of the development of the incubator program would involve the creation of electronic systems that allow users to complete necessary internal duties like following transactions, obtaining approvals, tracking status of the loan and other services. The final phase would be to develop a mobile platform where all benefits can be accessed through a mobile device. But, the government would need to increase the support in the information and communication technology sector in order to handle these electronic duties by boosting data optical fibers and receiving towers.
The Khalifa Fund has already discussed the program with other potential investors and if the plans proceed, the UAE could emerge as one of the most innovated markets. Given the history and success of previous projects funded by Hussain al Nowais, the program would add to his lengthy biography.
When it comes to the global economy, it’s important for world leaders to meet and discuss current financial trends to discover new methods of economic strength. And when you combine The United Arab Emirates with some of the brightest world leaders, you end up creating the annual Global Financial Markets Forum. This two-day economic conference is on its 7th year and was organized by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Given the GFMF conference was held in the capital of the UEA, Abu Dhabi, it serves as a central hub between all visitors, making the capital a prime place to conduct economic meetings.
Recently, the UAE has shifted economic focus on small and medium enterprises throughout the country so contributions to the economy can be less reliant on oil. With this being said, new guidelines have been set in place on SMEs to account for at least 70% of contributions by the year 2020. As it stands now, SMEs only contribute about 60% but they are also the largest employers in the private sector and with added focus, they could increase the work force even more. Discussion about retailers and small businesses were among the hot topics during the conference which is why SMEs are changing the economic climate in the UAE.
But the issue in the UAE is the lack of lending opportunities provided by the national banks. SMEs must rely on outside funding that comes from investors like Hussain al Nowais and with an impressive biography and background, it’s no wonder why SMEs prefer his funding. Hussain al Nowais is a part of Khalifa Fund, noted in the biography, which is providing many SMEs in the nation with funding to achieve operational success. The GFMF conference touched on outside investments and noted the benefits of bolstering sectors that can increase the economy.
Some of the international speakers included the UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development, H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, and Colin Powell of the United States, the previous Secretary of State. Many financial discussions dived into various financial sectors from around the world like energy, banks and family heirs.