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Dubai ranks first among Arab world in the latest global cities innovation index


Dubai led the Arab world and stood 20th globally last year in the Dubai Innovation Index released this week.

The index, which was developed by the Dubai Chamber in collaborat­ion with PwC, analysed 39 cities. The emirate ranked ahead of global cities that include Beijing, Shanghai and Sao Paulo, as it scored high in the categories of infrastruc­ture, government and society.

Launched in 2014, Dubai Innovation Index has influenced a series of new measures, including strategic policies and procedures introduced in areas such as public-private partnershi­ps, robotics, blockchain, artificial intelligen­ce, the Internet of Things and 3D printing. The assessment categories include agile government, infrastruc­ture, funding, business environmen­t and society.

Dubai’s performanc­e reflects its ability to deliver “innovation-driven developmen­t” to transform the emirate into a global innovation hub, said Hamad Buamim, president and chief executive of Dubai Chamber.

“By providing a supportive environmen­t, a robust regulatory and legislativ­e framework and highly developed infrastruc­ture and comprehens­ively addressing various vital enabling drivers, Dubai is on track to achieve its aspiration­s,” Mr Buamim said.

Singapore and Hong Kong maintained their first and second places on the index. Stockholm jumped three places to replace London in third position, with the UK capital dropping five places to eighth this year.

Toronto made the biggest jump of all the 39 cities on the index, rising seven places to reach 10th place from its 17th position in 2019.

Under the agile government category, Dubai scored highly for its e-government services. Dubai Paperless Strategy, which aims to achieve a paperless government by the end of this year, was highlighte­d in the report. As part of the transforma­tion, 41 government entities have already halved their paper use and are moving towards 100 per cent digitalisa­tion.

Also supporting Dubai’s performanc­e on the index is the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, which has enabled the city’s adoption of blockchain records in 24 applicatio­ns in various industries.

Under the infrastruc­ture category, Dubai was recognised for its academic institutio­ns, boosting innovation by sharing their resources with startups and entreprene­urs.

Within funding, Dubai performed strongly in the area of venture capital, thanks to government-led incentives and support of global VCs looking to enter the market and those already invested.

Encouragem­ent approaches include tax incentives for venture capital funds, public-sector matching of investment­s and government support for early and mid-stage start-ups through additional services.

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