Business leaders in Abu dhabi have predicted a strong start 2019 when AED 20 billion in injected into the economy under Tomorrow 2021 plan. The emirate is seen to be boosted further following the announcement of a total AED 50 billion had been earmarked to assist small businesses and create new jobs over the coming years by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
According to Deutsche Bank, Tomorrow 2021 is viewed as a potent catalyst for further growth and improved sustainability for the economy in Abu Dhabi and the wider in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Economic growth in the UAE is expected to accelerate to top 3% in 2019 due to growth in private consumption and non-oil exports. The market’s growth expectations next year is projected to be met against a backdrop of improved crude oil markets and a more positive environment for foreign investments in the UAE driven partially by the recent reforms, and initiatives including Tomorrow 2021.
The multi-billion dollar development plan called Ghadan 21, which means ‘tomorrow’ in English, is a series of reforms aimed at stimulating investment, creating jobs, encouraging innovation and improving the overall quality of life for citizens. The plan will feature 50 initiatives, focusing on four areas: business and investment, society, knowledge and innovation, and lifestyle.Ghadan 21 is aimed to support Abu Dhabi’s transition to a highly productive, knowledge-based economy which develops, attracts and retains the best global talent.
Abu Dhabi will create “competitive work environments” and stimulate industry projects in the business sector, notably those in the renewable energy space to support plans, generating half of the UAE’s power from clean sources by 2050. While under the view of the society, Abu Dhabi will launch housing projects, provide affordable education and create a social welfare system.
One of the key feature’s knowledge economy through a series of developments promoting innovation and research and development (R&D). The establishment of a new tech incubator at the end of 2018 is the key to meeting these goals. The committee said the incubator will serve to increase Abu Dhabi’s attractiveness as a destination for tech-sector talent, and support industry-based R&D efforts, aside of developing local expertise and start-ups through cooperation with the private sector.
Abu Dhabi Government, on conjunction with Japan’s SoftBank Group, is set to launch a new hub for tech start-ups. Hub71 tech hub, named after the year that the UAE was founded, will offer AED 535 million of investment to tech start-ups. The hub will tap into the government’s Ghadan 21, bringing together seven distinct pieces of a start-up ecosystem: start-ups, accelerators, VCs, tech companies, corporations, universities and R&D and government.
According to the website website, the hub will give incentives in the form of subsidized housing, office space, health insurance packages, co-investment with VCs in Abu Dhabi-based start-ups, and co-investment with Abu Dhabi-based first time fund managers with direct matching funds, starting 28 April 2019. This is projected to improve of the emirate’s business environment, with a particular focus on facilitating greater private sector participation. To this end, the Abu Dhabi Executive Council announced the establishment of a new business licence registration process, which should allow for the approval of 91% of commercial activities within five minutes. The Tajer licence, which allows operators to establish businesses without having a permanent office, has also been expanded to cover all nationalities and more than 1000 different commercial activities to support this promising initiative.