Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah
Dubai Chamber of Commerce has announced new sector-specific business groups for four economic sectors: Agribusiness, Furniture and Home Furnishing, Flower Traders and Tyre Traders.
The Chamber plans to increase the number of sector-specific business support groups to 100 by March 2023.
Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President & CEO of Dubai Chambers, said: “This latest raft of business groups is designed to encourage greater cooperation, mutual knowledge sharing and greater understanding of the synergies that exist between competitors in each sector, in terms of domestic, regional and international trading opportunities.”
Lootah noted that the four sectors are all key in the overall economic growth of Dubai’s economy, but equally, will all benefit from the wide range of support services offered by the Chamber. “It is vital that we ensure every sector of Dubai’s growing economy receives the support they need to thrive."
Lootah said that the aim is to promote the development of UAE-based companies and raise the profile of business group members in the international business community.
The groups will deliver a suitable forum to facilitate mutual dialogue between government entities and relevant group stakeholders and update group members on relevant policy matters related to industry, domestic and international trade and investment.
“Business Group members will also have a platform to exchange information and experiences and to communicate and interact with public and private entities on policy matters related to the group’s respective sectors, by means of meetings, gatherings, seminars, conferences, receptions, and other fora of exchange,” he explained.
Each business group will also enjoy the opportunity to contribute to the development of knowledge, skills and best approaches in industrial, trade and investment policy, and promote exchanges on those policy matters with similar groups internationally.
“The creation of sector-specific business groups is in line with our ongoing mission to continuously improve the business environment in Dubai and support member companies with their global expansion plans,” added Lootah.
As Dubai strives to increase food security and reduce reliance on imports, the agribusiness sector is a vital element in the economic mix. Dubai’s rich investment ecosystem has already seen development of the world’s largest vertical farm and is set to become the world's biggest 'agritourism' destination by 2030, with the opening of this ambitious farming and tourism zone.
The UAE imports around 85% of the food it consumes. As a snapshot of total volume growth in different food categories, Euromonitor reports that between 2017 and 2022, sales of fresh vegetables grew by 17%, pulses by 21.4%, meat by 21.4% and other fresh food by 16.1%.
Furniture and home furnishing
A release of pent-up demand for home furnishing was seen in 2021, with sales exceeding the pre-pandemic level. Growth was also marked in new e-commerce channels in the home furnishing sector, with growth seen in bedding, home office furniture and gaming furniture – driven by enforced time at home and the global shift to working from home.
According to Euromonitor International data, major sales growth categories between 2016 and 2021 include mattresses (with a 31.3% growth in sales volume) sofa beds (27.2% growth), curtains (28.1%) and light sources (35.9%), again reflecting the societal shift towards spending more time at home induced by the pandemic.
To continue this upward growth trend, the business group will explore ways to maintain a positive upward sales volume growth.
According to Dubai Customs, Dubai’s flower total trade value was AED1.5 billion ($410 million) in the period between 2011 and 2021.
Dubai Flower Centre, a dedicated free zone within Dubai International Airport for the import and export of flowers, brings enormous cost benefits to international shippers, connecting more than 15 producing countries with Asian, African and Middle Eastern markets.
According to Dubai Customs, Dubai’s tyre total trade value was AED65.2 billion in the period between 2011 and 2021. This reflects the sector is in a growth phase, especially given that Dubai has one of the highest vehicle densities in the world.-- TradeArabia News Service