Tuesday September 06, 2022
Sharjah reinforces its status as a prominent financial destination
A stunning view of the Sharjah Corniche, a key hub for local and global visitors. Kamal Kassim/ Rlixa
A new report by the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), offers key insights into the factors driving high investor confidence in the emirateâ€™s diversified economy and its continued appeal as an attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) has been hailed by high-level officials in both the public and private sectors of the emirate.
Invest in Sharjahâ€™s â€œFDI Future Trends and Sector Potentialâ€ report, published in collaboration with numerous government departments and private sector entities in the emirate and in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Middle East, outlines the robust business-friendly policies in the emirate, its future-ready infrastructure and high innovation levels as being pivotal to the emirateâ€™s ability to overcome sudden shifts in the financial and economic landscape as witnessed during the pandemic. The report has also identified seven high-potential sectors that are today charting the post-pandemic growth of Sharjah, boosting its competitiveness as a knowledge-based economy.
Commenting on Sharjahâ€™s strong economic position that is raising the emirateâ€™s global profile and reinforcing its status as a prominent financial and business hub in the region, Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman, Department of Government Relations, said, â€œSharjahâ€™s agility and quick responsiveness in implementing innovative strategies to accelerate growth during the pandemic have yielded sustainable results in the form of innovative workflows, development of advanced management tools, adoption of a remote work culture, and led to the scaling up of essential human resources skills, especially for staff of communication and IT departments.â€
Sultan Abdullah bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Sharjah Economic Development Department, said, â€œSharjah is working to stimulate various economic sectors, especially the new sectors in the knowledge-based and digital economy, where various sectors are witnessing a large influx of investments.â€
He pointed out that the country in general and Sharjah, in particular, are characterised by a stable investment, economic, and political environment that can continue economic growth despite the recessions in the global economy through different periods, with many any factors contribute to this, including the strategic location where it constitutes a promising economic environment, government spending and distinctive free zones that contribute to stimulating foreign direct investment.
Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, commented, â€œThe sustained growth across the emirate during the pandemic facilitated our strong efforts in delivering and keeping pace with Sharjahâ€™s transformation into a unique tourist, cultural and family destination.â€
Underlining the efforts of Sharjah Media City (Shams) to further enhance the emirateâ€™s competitiveness, Dr. Khaled Al Midfa, Chairman, commented, â€œThe media is an important economic sector that plays a pivotal role in guiding public opinion. Following the onset of COVID-19, the media sector has shifted focus from large corporations to a new generation of individual content creators. As a leading free zone entity, we are adapting to the changing environment, nurturing new dynamic ideas to support entrepreneurs, and positioning the media sector at the core of the comprehensive economic system in Sharjah and the UAE.â€
Citing the growing importance of tech-driven services across sectors, Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP), said, â€œSharjah aims to enhance the scope of vocational training, with a clear-cut focus on smart industries. We are also keen on merging technology with education by utilising the potential of various emerging technologies to bring mixed reality applications to learning.â€
Outlining potential opportunities to support Sharjahâ€™s clean energy vision, Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO, Beeâ€™ah, said, â€œInnovations in waste management are supporting the emirateâ€™s drive towards a zero-waste and carbon-neutral future and are being implemented through recycling, material recovery using artificial intelligence, and innovative waste-to-energy solutions where a low carbon development pathway is attained by transforming non-recyclable waste into energy.â€
Commenting on Sharjahâ€™s thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem that is fuelling the aspirations of changemakers in high-impact sectors, Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa), said, â€œOne of our core beliefs at Sheraa is that entrepreneurs are a force for lasting impact and positive change, and this was reinforced during the pandemic. We witnessed start-ups reimagine the world and develop solutions that fuelled the nationâ€™s post-COVID recovery. Start-ups are the backbone of a diversified and resilient economy, and Sharjah is the home of innovative founders creating the jobs of the future.â€
Abdulaziz Shattaf, Assistant Director-General for the Communication and Business Sector, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), outlined upcoming plans to enhance the scope and reach of the commercial events and activities organised by the entity through a clear-cut marketing strategy. He said, â€œThis strategy aims to open effective communication channels between shopping centres and all stakeholders, including consumers, and will turn the spotlight on the distinctive advantages that make Sharjah one of the most prominent tourist and commercial destinations, regionally and globally.â€