Dubai:To support the achievement of the "UAE Vision 2031" and "Dubai Economic Agenda D33" targets, Dubai Customs organized the "Future Foresight Forum" during the UAE Innovation Month 2023. Themed "Innovating Together for a Sustainable Economy", the forum was attended by His Excellency Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs and CEO of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, as well as representatives of several business sectors who contributed to enriching the forum's dialogues. The forum was supervised by the Client Happiness Department with support from the Strategy and Corporate Excellence Department and the Service Innovation Department. Representatives from foreign diplomatic bodies and strategic partners participated in the forum.

Various business sectors in Dubai that make up the Dubai Customs Consultative Council participated in exploring and fathoming the future of customs and the success factors for customs services. Traders and investors from these sectors met in workgroups to share opinions and ideas on the most effective ways to tackle future challenges and transform them into accomplishments by discovering solutions that bolster the growth of customs services and enhance business in all sectors. The discussions involved groups that represented a variety of industries, including electronics, supply chain and logistics, the Indian Business Council, the National Association of Freight and Supply, the Trademark Owners Protection Group, the Dubai Gold and Jewelry Group, the Dubai Computer Group, the Fruit and Vegetable Traders Group, the Retail Business Group, as well as multinational companies.

During the forum, the workgroups presented high-quality ideas to improve customs work, which led to a new starting point in Dubai Customs' efforts to develop and provide top-notch customs services and facilities.

According to Musabih, Dubai Customs is dedicated to promoting a culture of innovation in the UAE. This is because innovation plays a crucial role in developing the economy and society, as recognized by the "We the UAE 2031” Vision and the "Dubai Economic Agenda D33." These plans aim to double the value of non-oil foreign trade, supported by expanding economic partnerships with major countries in global trade. Economic partnerships have already contributed to the growth of trade, with the value of non-oil foreign trade reaching AED 2.2 trillion in 2022, a 17% increase from the previous year. In addition, tourism and travel have seen significant growth, with 101 million passengers passing through the country's airports in 2022.

Dubai Customs looks forward to the active participation of stakeholders in presenting and developing high-quality innovations that will gain even greater importance in the sustainability year. This is especially relevant as the UAE hosts the International Climate Change Conference "COP28" in Expo Dubai from November 30 to December 12 of this year, taking significant steps towards global sustainability.

According to Yousef Al-Hashimi, (Acting) Executive Director, Customer Management Division, the forum is dedicated to exploring future prospects in order to develop common visions for business growth. The aim is to invest in innovations that help develop capabilities and facilitate customs procedures. The "Smart Refund System," developed by the department, for example, is the first of its kind in the world, and can handle over two million requests annually.

He added, “Dubai Customs provides world-class customs services that drive business growth. The Consultative Council initiative gives the clients voice to share their proposals and needs. Dubai Customs is committed to enhancing efforts to stimulate creativity and innovation by raising public awareness of the importance of innovation in developing the national economy and achieving global leadership for the UAE, and maintaining Dubai's position as the global hub of sustainable economy. It’s not surprising that Dubai Customs achieved a client happiness index of 89.7% in 2022, with a total of 25.7 million customs transactions completed.”

Ahmed Abdul Salam Kazim, Director of Strategy and Corporate Excellence Department stated that Dubai Customs is making swift progress in encouraging clients to participate in developing new ideas. All ideas submitted by clients and employees are studied carefully, identifying viable ones, which are then developed and integrated with customs systems to foster performance in delivering unprecedented services to clients.

Kazim highlighted the role of different business sectors in anticipating future customs needs.

At the end of the forum, His Excellency Ahmed Mahboob Musabih and Yousef Al-Hashimi, honored the participating business sectors.