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A decade of possibilities

A year since it was announced, the Dubai Economic Agenda ‘D33’ is well on track to firmly establishing Dubai as one of the top cities in the world to invest, live and work


- Nasser Al Nowais, Chairman, Rotana

The year 2033 will mark 200 years since the foundation of Dubai was laid by the ruling House of Al Maktoum. The early 1800s were a very different time in the region, where most settlements were simply small towns with a handful of tribes. But all of that was about to change with the Al Maktoum family coming to power in 1833. In the capable hands of Sheikh Maktoum bin Butti and Sheikh Obeid bin Said, the newly established principality began to transform as its leaders sought to create a safe haven for its people, one that would remain resilient in the face of the ever-evolving political and economic landscape. It is this virtue that took Dubai from a humble fishing village to a global powerhouse and it continues to remain entrenched in the very fabric of the nation even today, almost two centuries on.


In anticipation of the 200-year milestone in 2033, on the 17th anniversary of the Accession Day of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai Economic Agenda ‘D33’ was announced last year. A testament to Dubai's unwavering commitment to progress, innovation and prosperity, this ambitious plan seeks to propel the emirate into a new era of sustainable growth.


The D33 Economic Agenda

Envisioned by the emirate’s exemplary leadership, the D33 Economic Agenda is a visionary strategy aimed at reshaping Dubai's economic landscape and cementing its position as a global economic powerhouse. Under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, this transformative plan outlines 100 new projects with economic targets of AED32 trillion over the next decade. The overarching goal is to double the size of Dubai’s economy and establish it among the top three global cities in which to invest, live and work.


At the announcement, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum stated: “2033 will mark 200 years since the foundation of Dubai: the year in which Dubai will be the most important global business centre, and by then we would have completed the D33 Agenda. We know our economic path over the next decade. The world makes way for those who know what they want.”

Dubai is never keen to rest on its laurels and this strategy only solidifies the city's zeal for excellence. At the heart of the agenda is a commitment to secure Dubai’s position as an international hub, fostering an environment where businesses can thrive. The plan emphasises accelerated growth through increased investment in human development, skillsets and advanced technology, capitalising on the emirate's strategic location and advanced infrastructure.


Among the key priorities of the D33 Economic Agenda are doubling foreign trade to reach AED25.6 trillion, attracting over AED650 billion in FDI and achieving an annual AED100 billion contribution from digital transformation. The plan also outlines a significant increase in government expenditures to over AED700 billion, with a focus on future growth sectors and the development of traditional trade and economic sectors. Furthermore, the agenda aims to enhance the competitiveness of the city’s business sector, with the goal of increasing private sector investment to AED1 trillion and domestic demand for goods and services to AED3 trillion.


Gaining ground

With one year under its belt, the D33 Economic Agenda is firmly on track to achieving Dubai's vision for a brighter tomorrow. The Dubai Economic Corridors 2033 initiative is one of the first projects under the D33 strategy, aiming to add 400 cities as key trade partners and enhance foreign trade relations with Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Additionally, initiatives such as the Dubai Unified License and Sandbox Dubai underscore the commitment to innovation, inclusivity and promoting a dynamic business environment.


People first

But it’s not just about business! As is the case with every development strategy in this glorious nation, the people that make up these diverse lands always come first. The D33 Economic Agenda, therefore, encompasses a variety of programmes to foster human development in every field. For example, a new initiative was announced to support the growth of 30 companies in new sectors to become global unicorns and integrate 65,000 young Emiratis into the workforce and the private sector. Similarly, the Dubai Traders Project (DT33) is on track to empower a new generation of traders in various major sectors, driving growth in this vibrant trading hub. Furthermore, the launch of the Dubai Project strategy is another key component as it aims to attract the world’s best universities, as part of the broader aim of making Dubai a leading global hub for higher education.


The D33 Economic Agenda is not merely a plan; it is a promise of a vibrant, sustainable and innovative future that will extend beyond the emirate's borders, impacting the entire country and the globe. It reflects Dubai's dedication to offering its citizens and residents a world-class quality of life while ensuring the highest levels of security and safety.


As we witness the unfolding of this visionary plan, let us draw inspiration from Dubai's commitment to progress and innovation. Together, we look forward to contributing to and benefiting from the success of the D33 Economic Agenda, a landmark initiative that will shape the future of Dubai and beyond.

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