DIEZ achieves 64.6 per cent record growth in operating profit in 2023 - GulfToday

DIEZ achieves 64.6 per cent record growth in operating profit in 2023

Photo used for illustrative purpose.

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), announced that DIEZ’s operating profit surged by 64.6 per cent from the previous year, underscoring its pivotal impact on the Dubai economy.

With the market value of its net assets exceeding Dhs20.8 billion, DIEZ succeeded in reinforcing growth in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation by 49.2 per cent, alongside an 8.1 percent increase in total revenues. These figures underscore the role of DIEZ as a key contributor to Dubai’s economy.

Economic zones overseen by DIEZ including the Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai Silicon Oasis, and Dubai CommerCity have seen an increase of 15.3 percent in companies registered under their umbrella. The total number of personnel working in DIEZ economic zones saw a marked rise of 30.5 percent to reach 70,000.

These accomplishments highlight DIEZ’s direct contribution to Dubai’s GDP, which stood at 5.1 percent according to the latest 2021 statistics. Moreover, economic zones affiliated to DIEZ have experienced substantial growth across six key sectors, which collectively represent 95 percent of total companies hosted.

The wholesale and retail trade sectors have shown a substantial 24.4 percent increase, while the professional services, scientific solutions and services sectors have seen an impressive growth of 89.6 percent. The information and communications technology sector saw an 18.1 percent increase, and the financial and insurance sector soared by an astounding 106.9 percent. Additionally, the administrative and support services sector surged by 93 percent, and the transportation and storage sector registered a 48.3 percent increase.

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of DIEZ, said, “Since its launch by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, DIEZ has implemented ambitious strategies to encourage investment, enhance gross domestic product, and bolster non-oil foreign trade in Dubai. These strategies reflect the authority’s commitment to fostering sustainable growth for Dubai and contributing to the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 by anticipating future trends, and proactively preparing for them. DIEZ remains dedicated to solidifying Dubai’s position as a leading global investment destination across various sectors as the positive results in 2023 demonstrate.”

He added, “The record-breaking results achieved within two years since the inception of DIEZ mirror Dubai’s rapid economic growth. They exemplify DIEZ’s steadfast focus on supporting Dubai’s overall economy by creating an economic ecosystem that caters to vital strategic sectors, while enhancing the quality of services provided to the business community. DIEZ’s achievements are aligned with the leadership’s vision to establish Dubai as a centre for economic and investment excellence, offering promising opportunities for local and foreign companies alike, in addition to strengthening the contribution of the private sector, a key partner in Dubai’s ambitious journey, in line with DIEZ’s recently launched strategy.”

Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Executive Chairman of DIEZ, said, “The positive results achieved in 2023 showcase DIEZ’s commitment to advancing Dubai’s economy and strengthening its competitive position globally. These efforts support Dubai’s aspirations to build one of the world’s best economies in line with the strategy outlined in the UAE Centennial 2071 and the ‘We the UAE 2031’ vision.”

“Integrated economic zones in Dubai continue to grow in significance, offering promising opportunities across various sectors and fostering the emergence of new industries based on knowledge, creativity and innovation. This dynamic environment has allowed economic zones to achieve these exceptional results and lay a strong foundation for future contributions to Dubai’s growth. DIEZ’s achievements are aligned with the strategic vision of our wise leadership, and the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to double the size of Dubai’s economy over the next ten years and establish it as one of the world’s top three urban economies,” he added.

“Our commitment to providing an ideal environment for small and medium-sized enterprises and new sectors was clearly demonstrated through the launch of a venture capital (VC) fund worth Dhs500 million. This move represents a significant step forward in our efforts to support entrepreneurs, investors and emerging companies, which will play a major role in the growth of Dubai’s economy in the next decade,” Al Zarooni noted.

The fund is the first investment programme launched under the name of Oraseya Capital, the venture capital arm of DIEZ specialising in venture investment operations in startups. It will play a pivotal role in supporting startups, starting from the pre-seed stage, and extending all the way to the Series B investment stage. The fund addresses existing gaps in corporate finance, particularly during these crucial developmental stages. The initiative reflects Dubai’s commitment to keeping pace with the world’s leading economies in startup investment, recognising the potential contributions of entrepreneurial ventures to the growth, advancement and prosperity of the national economy.

In 2023, DIEZ finalised its new strategic approach to fortify Dubai’s position as a premier regional and global investment destination. These efforts culminated in Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum approving the Authority’s new strategy for 2024-2026, which aims to amplify DIEZ’s contribution to empowering businesses and driving economic growth.

DIEZ’s strategic focus is based on three pillars: excel, growth, and enrich. The Authority seeks to achieve excellence by prioritising enhanced contributions to Dubai’s non-oil economy, fostering entrepreneurship, and delivering exceptional client experiences to facilitate growth and operational success for Dubai. DIEZ also aims to solidify its global presence in the economic zones sector, invest in leading companies within the value chain, and establish specialised economic zones tailored to promising industries. The theme of enriching economic life emphasises improving business benefits through innovative products and services, while promoting sustainability through responsible environmental, social and corporate governance practices.

DIEZ achieved record sustainability results in 2023 by adhering to responsible energy practices and reducing carbon emissions. Since its inception, DIEZ and its economic zones have prioritised sustainability, meeting international standards for energy efficiency and environmental design. These efforts support the nation’s Net Zero by 2050 goal. Notable achievements include increasing LEED-certified buildings to 30 with a platinum rating and a building with LEED Earth rating. These certificates include the recently obtained LEED Zero Energy and LEED Zero Carbon international certificates from the US Green Building Council for its headquarters at Dubai Airport Freezone. DIEZ is the first entity in the Middle East to attain these significant certifications.

DIEZ also reduced energy consumption by 12 percent and increased solar energy generation by 30 percent, contributing to an annual production of about 5,000 MWh. Furthermore, the Authority implemented adaptive air conditioning control systems to reduce electricity consumption by 30 percent and transitioned to LED lighting, resulting in more than 50 percent savings in total consumption. These initiatives culminated in a 12 percent reduction in carbon emissions, equivalent to 5,280 metric tonnes compared with 2022, as well as a waste recycling rate exceeding 45 percent, solidifying Dubai and the UAE’s key position in global climate action.

In 2023, DIEZ intensified its efforts to embrace emerging economic trends, with a particular focus on AI, digital innovation, green initiatives and circular economies. These initiatives strengthened Dubai’s position as a thriving hub for global investments, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Notable accomplishments included significant advancements in AI integration, innovation culture, sustainability practices, knowledge enrichment, and forging global partnerships.

In the realm of AI and smart mobility, DIEZ spearheaded experiments in 2023 at Dubai Silicon Oasis to facilitate product deliveries via drones, aligning with the ambitious ‘Dubai Programme to Enable Drone Transportation’ launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council. Moreover, DIEZ launched trials of Talabot self-driving robots in collaboration with the Roads and Transport Authority and Talabat. These trials, conducted in Dubai Silicon Oasis, a focal point of innovation and knowledge in the Dubai Urban Plan 2040, aimed to promote zero-emission transportation solutions and enhance operational efficiency. This initiative aligns with Dubai’s vision to transition 25 percent of transportation trips to self-driving means by 2030.

Furthermore, DIEZ forged a strategic partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to inaugurate the MIT DesignX Dubai Accelerator programme. As the first of its kind for MIT in the region, this accelerator programme focuses on sustainability and the future of cities. It endeavours to expedite the development of innovative projects, empowering entrepreneurs in the region to devise effective solutions and pioneering designs to accelerate the growth of innovative projects to address the most pressing global challenges in an urban environment.

DIEZ aspires to solidify Dubai’s position as a regional and global investment destination across diverse sectors. By aligning with the emirate’s strategic priorities for integrated economic zones, DIEZ seeks to foster economic growth and pave the way towards an economic landscape characterised by diversity, multiple investment opportunities, and ease of conducting business.




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