Shen­zhen to host third Dubai Week in China later this year

Three-day event in October has a theme of ‘in­no­va­tion and en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit’

The National - News - Business - - Front Page - Michael Fahy [email protected]­

The third Dubai Week in China will be hosted in Shen­zhen.

The three-day event, which is likely to take place in late October, will have a theme of “in­no­va­tion and en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit”, ac­cord­ing to Hong­bin Cong, the vice-chair­man of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions at or­gan­iser Fal­con & As­so­ciates.

Shen­zhen is the third city to host Dubai Week in China, fol­low­ing ear­lier events in Bei­jing and Shang­hai, and Mr Cong said the lo­ca­tion fits the in­no­va­tion theme, as well as mir­ror­ing many of Dubai’s own char­ac­ter­is­tics.

The south­ern Chi­nese city bor­der­ing Hong Kong was a fish­ing town un­til 1980, when it was des­ig­nated as one of four special eco­nomic zones as part of re­forms aimed at open­ing China’s econ­omy.

It is now a city of al­most 12 mil­lion people and is con­sid­ered to be China’s tech­nol­ogy hub. It is home to tele­coms gi­ant Huawei, elec­tric car maker BYD and the world’s big­gest drone com­pany, Da-Jiang In­no­va­tions Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy. It is also home to some of China’s big­gest fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, in­clud­ing Ping An Fi­nan­cial and China Mer­chants’ Bank.

“Shen­zhen is one of the most in­no­va­tive cities in China,” said Mr Cong. “Also, it’s a very young, dy­namic city, sim­i­lar to Dubai. The lo­cal pop­u­la­tion counts for maybe less than 10 per cent – an­other sim­i­lar­ity with Dubai.”

Mr Cong said there were al­ready strong links be­tween Shen­zhen com­pa­nies and Dubai. Huawei has signed a num­ber of ini­tial agree­ments to de­velop smart city ini­tia­tives with Dewa, the RTA and Dubai South, among oth­ers, and pro­vides lots of in­fra­struc­ture equip­ment for du and Eti­salat.

BYD has also held talks with Jebel Ali Free Zone Author­ity about po­ten­tially set­ting up a fa­cil­ity within its zone, ac­cord­ing to Mr Cong. BYD did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

On top of this, the Shen­zhen Foun­da­tion signed a strate­gic part­ner­ship last year with Dubai’s Mu­seum of the Fu­ture to col­lab­o­rate on in­no­va­tion in ro­bot­ics and the In­ter­net of Things.

“We think be­tween Dubai and Shen­zhen there is a very good match in terms of his­tory, de­vel­op­ment fo­cal points and in terms of the vision set out by the two cities,” Mr Cong said. “We believe that hav­ing Dubai Week in Shen­zhen will give a fur­ther push for co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two cities in the ar­eas of tech­nol­ogy, city plan­ning, fi­nan­cial co­op­er­a­tion and people-to-people ex­change.”

China has been Dubai’s big­gest trad­ing part­ner since 2014, with bi­lat­eral trade hit­ting US$45 bil­lion in 2016 – 13 per cent of Dubai’s to­tal non-oil trade.

Ear­lier this week, Dubai’s Depart­ment of Tourism and Com­merce Mar­ket­ing said that the num­ber of Chi­nese tourists in­creased by 64 per cent yearon-year in the first quar­ter of 2016 to 230,000. A waiver pro­gramme grant­ing Chi­nese tourists a visa on ar­rival into Dubai was in­tro­duced in Septem­ber.

Qi­lai Shen / Bloomberg

The Shen­zhen sky­line, con­sid­ered to be China’s tech­nol­ogy hub, with the head­quar­ters of Ten­cent. The third Dubai Week in China will be hosted by the city.

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