Annual Investment Meeting kicks off in Abu Dhabi with the participation of 600 speakers from 170 countries

Al-Zeyoudi: Soon. Financial incentives for companies under the "Next Generation Foreign Investment" initiative

  • The Annual Investment Meeting will witness 160 dialogue sessions and the attendance of 44 ministers and 50 Chinese unicorns. Cinematographer: Najeeb Mohammed

  • Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi: "The UAE is one of the largest recipients of foreign direct investment in the Middle East."

  • Ahmed Jassim Al Zaabi: "The gross domestic product of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi exceeded one trillion dirhams in 2022."


Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the 12th edition of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) 2023 kicked off at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) yesterday under the slogan "Transformation in Aspects of Investment... Future investment opportunities to promote sustainable economic growth, diversification and prosperity", with the participation of more than 600 speakers, while the Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, revealed financial incentives soon for companies within the "next generation of foreign investment".

The forum will witness more than 160 dialogue sessions and the presence of 44 ministers and 18 heads of international organizations from 170 countries, in addition to the participation of 70 countries in the exhibition accompanying the forum, and 50 Chinese companies unicorns (companies worth more than one billion dollars), at a time when the event is expected to attract more than 12,<> visitors.

Economic diversification

The Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, said that "the UAE's economy continues to grow and expand, supported by economic diversification policies that are based on foundations of sustainability."

Al Zeyoudi explained that the UAE is one of the largest recipients of foreign direct investment in the Middle East, as it ranked first regionally and 19th globally in terms of its ability to attract foreign direct investment, and ranked 17th globally in outward investment flows to countries of the world with a total of $ 22.5 billion and a growth rate of 19% over 2020, according to the Foreign Direct Investment Report 2022, issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

UAE & India

In a press conference on the sidelines of the forum, Al Zeyoudi said that the volume of non-oil trade between the UAE and India during the first 11 months of the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the two countries (between May 2022 and March 31, 2023) exceeded $ 45.5 billion, a growth of 7% compared to the 12 months before the signing of the agreement, despite the significant decline in global trade in general.

He stressed that the volume of trade between the two countries increased during the first quarter of this year to $ 13.3 billion, a growth of 24.7% compared to the last quarter of 2022, and a growth of 5.4% compared to the first quarter of 2022, which recorded an unprecedented growth in trade between the two countries.

He revealed that the volume of non-oil exports to the UAE increased during the first quarter of this year by 33% compared to the fourth quarter of 2022, expecting, according to these results, that non-oil trade between the two countries will exceed the barrier of $ 50 billion during the current year 2023.

Next Generation Initiative

In a statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Al Zeyoudi revealed that the "NextGenFDI initiative" launched by the UAE government in July 2022 attracted 80 multinational companies with a prestigious global reputation from different countries and in multiple technology sectors, which reflects the UAE's solid reputation as a global incubator for companies seeking expansion and development.

He added that many companies within the initiative are currently conducting funding rounds and searching for local partnerships, which means increasing the flow of investment and supporting the growth of the technology sector, pointing to the company «Datafirm», which aims to raise more than $ 200 million over the next five years to build a company with expected revenues of more than $ 30 billion annually, and «Ventures», which seeks to raise between $ 50 and $ 70 million during the first phase of its financing process during the next year, and between 150 and 300 million. It plans to create 500 jobs in the UAE this year, between 700 and 10 jobs over the next five years, and is looking to become the first electronic unicorn company in the UAE, in addition to Flypay, which aims to invest $ 25 million this year, and $ 50 million over the next five years, and seeks to employ between 100 and <> employees in the UAE.

"The Next Generation Global Foreign Investment Initiative has received more than 400 applications from companies that have expressed interest in joining the initiative over the past nine months," Zeyoudi said.

He added: "After examining these applications, most of them have been approved and the companies have been integrated into the initiative, and we expect more companies to join before the end of this year, and enter into strategic partnerships."

He continued: "We are digitizing the application process to join the initiative through an electronic portal for companies that saves time and effort, and also facilitates the process of communication with the concerned parties, and financial incentives will be announced soon."

Interest and momentum

Al Zeyoudi continued: "The initiative is witnessing a lot of interest and positive momentum from international companies to inject their investments in the UAE, especially in the sectors of the new economy, where we expect it to be translated into

This interest is to make significant investments in the UAE economy, and we are optimistic about the future growth and success of the initiative."

"There are many corporate software developers and technology professionals who want to move to the UAE, due to its high standards of living and quality of life, which has made it an attractive destination for talented and creative people in the technology sector. We have recently seen international technology companies transfer their employees to the UAE."

Emirate of Abu Dhabi

Ahmed Jassim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, said that the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is witnessing a strong and growing rise of the "Falcon Economy", driven by flexible policies and regulatory and legal frameworks that have made Abu Dhabi a destination for companies looking to expand their business in the region. He added that the GDP of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi exceeded one trillion dirhams in 2022, at a time when the contribution of non-oil sectors represented 50% of the total output.

He said that Abu Dhabi aims to increase non-oil exports to the emirate by more than 140% to reach about AED 179 billion by 2031.

In his speech during the forum, Al Zaabi pointed out that the assets of the banking sector in the UAE grew in 2022 at a rate of 12 times compared to 2000 to reach $ 900 billion, and its contribution to the nominal GDP of the country jumped from 70% to more than 250% of GDP during the same period.

Al Zaabi pointed out that the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is home to three of the world's leading sovereign wealth funds with total assets exceeding one trillion dollars, and has succeeded in strengthening its financial system by attracting leading financial institutions, and is home to two of the largest state banks along with a large number of international banks, pointing out that over the past few years, the market capitalization of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange has increased about fivefold to reach more than $ 650 billion, driven by the growth of private and owned companies. for both the state.

Masdar City: AED 1.5 billion expected investments

Masdar City CEO Ahmed Baghoum said in press statements on the sidelines of the forum that new investments are expected to be injected into Masdar City worth one and a half billion dirhams during 2023 and 2024. He added that the total number of companies in Masdar currently stands at 1100,10 companies of various nationalities, with a total investment of AED 10 billion, pointing out that the annual increase in the city's investments ranges between 15 and 20% annually, and may rise to 150% this year. Baghoum revealed that <> new companies are expected to join Masdar City this year in several fields, especially renewable and clean energy.