AIM: UAE set to secure deals, investment opportunities in its first digital summit

Annual Investment Meeting to take place next month

Elevated view of modern skyscrapers along Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Elevated view of modern skyscrapers along Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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The UAE is looking to secure some deals during the first virtual version of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), which is expected to attract more than 25,000 participants from around the world.

Under the theme “Reimagining Economies: The Move Towards a Digital, Sustainable and Resilient Future”, investors, entrepreneurs, government leaders, ministers and economic experts worldwide will meet virtually over three days, from October 20 to 22 this year.

“AIM Digital will witness a large virtual gathering of participants. There are more than 70 ministers, 300 speakers, 176 investment promotion agencies and more than 400 SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] who confirmed participation… We are expecting more than 25,000 participants from more than 170 countries to participate in this historical event,” said Dawood Al Shezawi, chairman of strategic group, AIM.

Speaking during a press briefing on Monday, Shezawi said one of the main objectives of the event is to attract investments, including foreign direct investments (FDIs) to the UAE. He said they are currently working with their “partners” and some investors globally to look into various investment opportunities and strengthen economic relations.

“[We are working] to really make AIM a platform for deal happening. We are targeting now investment agencies… to finalize some deals,” added Al Shezawi.

An initiative of the UAE Ministry of Economy, the annual invent is considered the largest investment platform in the Middle East and North Africa. It has been conceptualised to promote a healthier economy by linking investment opportunities to fast growing economies.


Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said the event will also examine the latest trends in the foreign direct investment field, adding that they will be keen to exchange experiences, transfer knowledge, explore business opportunities and sign partnership and cooperation agreements.

“This edition of AIM is [special] as it will be the first mega digital event in the region which aims to discuss solutions for developing trade and investment and exchanging ideas to meet the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

“And we think also that will set a new benchmark for future virtual events in the UAE,” he added.

Al-Zeyoudi said the event will showcase the economic potential of UAE as an attractive investment destination through a virtual platform, serving as a huge opportunity to explore new markets, discover innovative measures to penetrate the current markets, further revitalise the foreign trade sector and strengthen economic relations among nations.

Over the past decades, the UAE has been working towards diversifying its economy to move from dependency on oil. As of 2015, a huge proportion of the country’s gross domestic product (70 percent) came from non-oil sectors, including tourism, manufacturing, media and commercial aviation.

According to Al-Zeyoudi, the UAE’s success in transforming from an oil-based economy into a diversified and globally competitive one is based on “principles of knowledge, innovation and technology.”

“Today, we are working to achieve a new shift in our national economy according to a more flexible and sustainable model and with a greater focus on sectors of the future economy. Certainly, foreign direct investment can play an important role in achieving these transformations,” he said.

“We are actively working to integrate smart solutions in the business environment, and during the pandemic period over the past months, we have witnessed the ability of the government and private sectors in the UAE to adapt quickly and develop new methods of work and productivity,” he added.

He said this year’s investment meeting should provide an important platform to achieve this trend, especially through its diverse agenda that includes FDI, foreign portfolio investment, SMEs, start-ups and future cities, among others.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

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