UAE News Today : Politics

Dubai Future District Fund drives the future of finance by focusing on innovation and sustainability

The Dubai Future District Fund (DFDF) Supervisory Committee met to assess the Fund’s significant achievements to date and outline future strategies aimed at improving the business ecosystem in Dubai and the UAE at large.

The Oversight Committee reviewed the completion of more than 25 investments by the DFDF since its inception in 2022 and discussed the AED billion fund’s mission to enhance Dubai’s venture capital ecosystem by driving sustainable finance and innovation to global scale.

Released by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Financeand Chairman of Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), DFDF is a collaborative effort between DIFC and Dubai Future Foundation (DFF).

Essa Kazim, governor of the DIFC, participated in the meeting; Khalfan Belhoul, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dubai Future District Fund and Executive Director of the Dubai Future Foundation; Arif Amiri, CEO of the Dubai International Financial Center Authority and member of the board of directors of the Dubai Future District Fund; Jacques Visser, legal director of the DIFC Authority; and Sharif El-Badawi, CEO of the Dubai Future District Fund.

DFDF further reinforced its commitment to sustainability and climate technology by allocating up to 20 percent of its AED billion fund to support climate technology and innovation by December 2023, a move that was welcomed by the Committee Supervision and aligned with the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the UAE Net Zero 2050 strategy.

As DFDF embarks on its third year of operations, the Oversight Committee recognized the fund’s key achievements from the past year, including 14 new investments in five startups and three follow-on investments, as well as six investments from funds that are innovating in the future of finance. and the Future Economies sectors in Dubai.

The Oversight Committee also praised the fund’s capacity building efforts during the inaugural session. DFDF Venture Scholars program, where 12 aspiring Emirati professionals and entrepreneurs participated in the venture capital fund simulation program that attracted 40 participants from the UAE venture capital ecosystem.

The Committee emphasized the importance of supporting startups on their growth path to become successful and internationally active companies and underlined the role of venture capital investment in supporting startups, not only through financing but also creating value in portfolio companies, scaling operations, and strengthening corporate governance.

The meeting also highlighted the collaborative efforts of government and private sector leaders to drive innovation, support startups and contribute to the UAE’s transition to a sustainable future. DFDF remains a key player in this journey, actively shaping the innovation and investment landscape in the region.

Essa Kazim, governor of the DIFCcommented,

“DFDF’s growth journey is encouraging and embodies the vision of Dubai’s venture capital landscape by pioneering sustainable finance, catalysing global innovation and aligning with strategic missions such as the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and UAE Net Zero. 2050. The Oversight Committee’s recognition of DFDF’s role in fostering scale-ups and collaborative drive towards a sustainable future underlines the critical partnership between the public and private sectors in shaping Dubai’s innovation trajectory.”

Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation and President of DFDF, confirmed that DFDF contributed significantly during the previous period to strengthening the business scene in the city of Dubai in fulfillment of the leaders’ vision that Dubai is the best destination for emerging businesses and entrepreneurs and the ideal incubator for business expansion in the region and the world from Dubai.

He added,

“Over the coming period, the Fund will focus on continuing its efforts to provide an integrated system to support startups and provide financing, expertise, mentoring and other support programs, such as business accelerators and capacity building initiatives, of a way that contributes to improving their ability to grow and benefit from the business-friendly environment that stimulates innovation.”

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority and member of the board of directors of DFDF, saying,

“DFDF is a model in Dubai’s venture capital landscape, co-funded by the Dubai International Financial Centre. The fund’s commitment to climate technology, coupled with a strong investment strategy, has launched more than 25 companies and continues to foster international and Emirati talent through its “Personalized business creation programs. “This steadfast dedication marks DFDF as a driving force in shaping the future of sustainable innovation, talent and growth.”

Sharif El-Badawi, CEO, Dubai Future District Fund, saying,

“In 2023, DFDF championed the fusion of sustainable finance with global innovation, proudly contributing to Dubai’s emergence as a venture capital powerhouse. Our collaborations with DIFC and Dubai Future Foundation have been instrumental, aligning with the Energy Strategy Clean Dubai 2050 and UAE Net Zero 2050 to power over 25 businesses and cultivate a diverse talent pool. As we move forward, our commitment deepens to foster new businesses and drive sustainable growth, ensuring DFDF’s role in the shaping a vibrant, innovation-driven future for Dubai. With steadfast dedication, we look forward to a year of transformative impact, reinforcing our promise to foster a sustainable and prosperous tomorrow.”

UAE startups account for an impressive 52 percent of all venture deals in the MENA region, and 44 percent of all venture capital has a presence in the UAE.

News source: Emirates News Agency

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