Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, chaired the Dubai Future District Fund (DF2) Oversight Committee upon completion of its first year of investment operations.
The meeting reviewed DF2’s first full year of operations and highlighted the rapid progress being made, with the completion of more than a dozen fund and start-up investments from the initial funding commitment of AED1 billion.
Al Olama, who is the Chairman of DF2 Oversight Committee, stated that Dubai and the UAE is keen to provide the best ecosystem to create the newest generation of start-ups and global unicorns, reflecting the visions and directives of the UAE leadership in driving a robust growth in the economy and enhancing the country’s global competitiveness.
He added that Dubai has built technological infrastructure and cutting-edge systems resulting in promoting its reputation around the world as a leading economy empowering start-ups to achieve their potential and enhancing their position as the backbone of many economies and their positive effect on the national and global economy.
Al Olama commended the committee’s efforts in attracting global businesses, supporting start-ups to establish them in Dubai and providing them with state-of-the-art solutions in easing their journey to success. In turn, the impact of these companies will be apparent in the years to come – in supporting sustainable economic growth and enhancing prosperity.
The Minister of State, along with other members of the Oversight Committee – Essa Kazim, Governor of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC); Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation (DFF); and Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, congratulated the wider Board and the Investment Committee for helping to catalyse the start-up sector, which is increasing its contribution to Dubai and the UAE’s economy.
DF2 is the region’s first evergreen venture capital fund to specialise in early-stage, high-growth technology start-ups for emerging markets, anchored by leading institutions. More than 1,000 requests have been received from local, regional and global start-ups and other funds looking to expand their capital base.
The Fund, launched in an effort to centralise the Government of Dubai and quasi-government’s participation in the digital economy, is anchored by DIFC, the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, and DFF, whose vision is to make Dubai a leading city of the future and the guiding force behind the Museum of the Future. The Fund has made 13 investments since its establishment.
The Fund focuses primarily on supporting start-up programmes with seed capital and building a scalable tech innovation ecosystem for them to operate in. It also works to attract leading venture capital funds to Dubai as well as already established tech start-ups that would flourish in the environment created by DF2, the Dubai Future District and the wider emirate.
Essa Kazim said, “The results of our first full year of operations are promising. As an anchor investor in the Dubai Future District Fund, we will continue to shape the emirate’s reputation as a global hub for technology and innovation and support start-ups through our comprehensive, world-class ecosystem. In line with our vision to drive the future of finance, which is also an important pillar of the Fund, our efforts are attracting innovative and emerging technology companies and talent from around the world. We now look forward to capitalising on this through 2023 and attracting even more start-ups and positively impacting the economy.”
Khalfan Belhoul commented, “The Dubai Future Foundation aims to help make Dubai one of the world’s leading cities of the future. The Dubai Future District Fund demonstrates how we are reimagining, inspiring and designing Dubai’s future in collaboration with public and private sector partners. The Fund is a key driver of the start-up ecosystem as it enables local and global talent to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s solutions. The Fund acts as a catalyst, empowering entrepreneurs to build a more sustainable future based on innovation.”
Belhoul added, “We look forward to supporting more start-ups that have the potential and foresight to drive Dubai’s economy and contribute to enhancing the emirate’s position as a global destination for partnerships, research and development, and designing the future.”
Arif Amiri remarked, “The global economy is expected to more than double by 2050, enabled by the rise in innovative technologies. The Dubai Future District Fund and DIFC are ensuring Dubai captures a significant share of this growth by providing start-ups, investors, the public sector and private firms with a new opportunity to work together. Funding future-focused start-ups will help shape sustainable economic growth in Dubai and the region. Additionally, the investments made by the fund will result in a broader positive impact on millions of people and economies globally. As the fund’s investment portfolio grows, we look forward to seeing more start-ups prosper while cementing Dubai’s reputation as a leading global hub for innovation and technology.”
The Fund is mandated to support future economy companies who will operate out of the Dubai Future District. They will have the potential and foresight to drive Dubai’s economy and contribute to enhancing the emirate’s position as a preferred destination for global talent and entrepreneurship through initiatives and projects that are aimed at turning Dubai into a nexus for business and an integrated investment environment that offers exceptional facilities. In addition, the Fund will look to back Series A+ start-ups, tackling a wider regional mandate in the development of the future economy and venture capital funds that have presence and investments in Dubai.