In November 2021, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and President of the Dubai International Financial Centre, launched the “Dubai Future District Fund” with an initial capital of AED 1 billion. Recently, the fund’s supervisory committee held a meeting to review its past achievements and outline future goals and plans to support the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Dubai and the entire UAE.
The meeting was attended by Essa Kazim, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre; Khalifa Juma Al Nabooda, Chairman of the Fund’s Board and CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation; Arif Amiri, CEO of the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority; Jack Visser, Chief Legal Officer at the Authority; and Sharif El-Badawi, CEO of the Fund.
During the meeting, the investments of the fund, which currently include more than 25 investment projects, including 14 new investments in the past year, were reviewed. The focus was on startups and innovative investments to support the future of the financial sector and future economies in Dubai.
The committee emphasized the fund’s commitment to sustainability by allocating up to 20% of its capital to develop climate technology, in line with Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the UAE’s Climate Neutrality Strategy 2050.
The fund also implemented capacity-building programs, including a venture capital fellowship program that included 12 Emirati professionals and entrepreneurs, and a venture capital simulation program that attracted 40 participants from the UAE’s venture capital ecosystem.
Participants highlighted the importance of supporting startups to achieve growth and global expansion, noting the significant role of venture capital investments in providing not just financial support but also adding value to the companies’ investment portfolios, enhancing their operational scope, and improving governance.
Essa Kazim praised the progress made by the fund, stating that it reflects the ambitious vision for the future of venture capital in Dubai, aligning with the emirate’s strategic goals such as the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy and the Climate Neutrality Strategy. This appreciation underscores the importance of public-private partnership in enhancing innovation in Dubai.
Khalifa Juma Al Nabooda highlighted the fund’s contribution to enhancing the entrepreneurship landscape in Dubai, in line with the leadership’s vision to make Dubai a prime location for startups and entrepreneurs. He added that the fund would continue to provide a comprehensive support system for startups, through funding, expertise, guidance, and other support programs like business accelerators and capacity-building initiatives.
Arif Amiri noted that the “Dubai Future District Fund” forms an essential part of Dubai’s venture capital landscape, emphasizing the fund’s role in adopting climate technology and implementing a strong investment strategy that led to the expansion and growth of projects. The fund’s commitment to nurturing global and Emirati talents enhances the future of sustainable innovation and drives growth and competitiveness.
Sharif El-Badawi shed light on the fund’s role in enhancing sustainability and entrepreneurship sectors, affirming the fund’s commitment to supporting startups and achieving sustainable growth. He added that the fund would continue its efforts to design a sustainable and prosperous future.
Finally, the meeting stressed the importance of enhancing cooperation between the public and private sectors to advance innovation and support startups, contributing to the design and implementation of a sustainable future in the UAE. The “Dubai Future District Fund” supports achieving these goals by shaping the innovation and investment landscape in the region and is a central part of Dubai’s future foresight ecosystem, in collaboration with its partners in vital future sectors.