20 October 2016

Dubai Innovation Index places Dubai mid-way in global innovation push

• Buamim: This index serves as a compass for the companies to be creative and the public sector to identify the most innovative sectors and support their growth
• Al Ghurair: Innovation is critical for the sustenance of an economy and enhancement of its competitiveness
• Government has a pioneering role in launching initiatives
• Dubai ranked 16th among the world’s 28 leading innovation-driven cities

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has released the results of the first edition of the Dubai Innovation Index, introduced last year by the Chamber as part of its strategy to stimulate innovation and global practices in the private sector. The index showed medical care, media, marketing, IT, retail industrial sectors as the most innovative while professional services, agriculture, fisheries, construction and energy sectors turned out to be the least innovative in Dubai.

The report compares innovative cities at the global level, the perspectives of the private sector and includes an analysis of economic sectors in addition to comparisons and recommendations. Based on best international standards, the innovation index is developed inooperation with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and is a first of its kind index in the world to measure innovation in a growing economy.

According to the report, Dubai ranked 16th out of the 28 peer global cities which are currently considered the most prominent players in the field of innovation and creativity. It registered an innovation rate of 39.14% and ranked in 11th place for its efficiency in innovation outputs.

The report shows that Dubai scores above the average on the Government category, an indication that the government of Dubai is leading the march of innovation in the emirate while developing the right environment for innovation, but the report states that the private sector’s focus is on performance and its preference is for long-term strategies to promote innovation.

The report also shows Dubai’s leadership in the field of output and performance, particularly in the launch of new products and services and outputs of technology. However, intellectual property and opportunities for collaboration with institutions and economies for scientific work have emerged as areas for improvement as did cooperation between public and private sectors.

According to the index results, Dubai’s benchmark for innovation is in line with the outcome of the Global Innovation Index 2016 which shows the strengths of the emirate in infrastructure and information technology.

The Dubai Innovation Index recommendation has focused on the need to enhance the business policies and regulations governing the business environment in Dubai and the UAE in the area of ease of doing business. The Chamber has worked over the past year on various initiatives to enhance the business environment and advocate business policies to improve the business environment in the UAE, particularly in Dubai, to improve the UAE ranking in the Global Innovation Index 2016.

Since the launch of the index a year ago, Dubai has seen numerous initiatives launched including the Dubai Innovation Fund, the Ministry of Happiness, the Dubai Innovation Labs, the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Fund to Finance Innovation, Dubai Science Park, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Innovation Award, and the Dubai Innovation Week.

The result also addresses in detail enablers and outputs of innovation, which showed that the possibilities invested by the private sector does not meet the emirate’s ambitions and still need to be developed, compared to the government to invest in innovation and enablers which lead the march of innovation in Dubai.

The report points at the need to strengthen awareness-raising initiatives and exceptional efforts to increase the percentage contribution of the private sector in the total innovation efforts of the city of Dubai, in addition to the need for greater investment possibilities which is the basis for a more innovative future.

HE Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber, said: “Innovation is critical for the sustenance and development of an economy in a dynamic global environment as any business organisation which is slow to adopt innovation in its activities will find it difficult to match up with the demands of the future.

"Dubai was the first to launch an ambitious vision to become the world’s most innovative cities under the support and guidance of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Thankfully, under its wise leadership, Dubai today is one of the leading innovation destinations in the world.

“As a representative of the private sector, we are helping stimulate the innovation culture in the emirate’s business environment by encouraging the private sector to examine its strengths and weaknesses and to improve upon its shortfalls through a well-charted out action plan to march ahead in the process of innovation. To this effect, the Chamber-launched Dubai Innovation Index has successfully managed to put the private sector on the right track towards development in its innovative endeavours.”

HE Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, stated that as an essential part of its innovation strategy which is based on adopting innovation and excellence in all its activities, the Chamber is working to support the development of the emirate’s innovation environment and to stimulate the innovation culture in the business environment. This is also to strengthen the role of the private sector to keep pace and contribute to the growth of the emirate.

“The Dubai Innovation Index is an essential part of the innovation strategy launched by Dubai Chamber to promote and support the innovation in the private sector while also consolidating the Chamber’s reputation as one of the most innovative chambers of commerce in the world,” said HE Buamim.

“The index measures innovation in 28 cities, and is characterised by measuring innovation in the private sector and its impact on total innovation of Dubai as it compares the results of innovation in the emirate with leading global cities which are currently considered the most prominent players in the field of innovation and creativity.

“With 90% of Dubai’s private sector made up of SMEs, for whom being innovative is imperative, this index serves as a compass for these companies to be creative and innovative while encouraging them to grow in line with the emirate’s prevailing business environment. Also, this index helps the government to identify the most innovative sectors as well as the sectors that need support to build on their innovation strategy.”
The President and CEO of Dubai Chamber also said that the Chamber will focus more on raising the percentage of private sector contribution to innovation in the coming months as the index will help Dubai Chamber lay the foundation for a long-term strategy for the development of the private sector and to enhance the emirate’s competitiveness in the global rankings.

He also noted that the results of the index will be announced annually to gauge and promote the innovation environment in Dubai.

Anil Khurana, Strategy & Innovation Partner at PwC Middle East, said that the private sector businessmen’ views highlight that there is a great challenge to find and retain talent that facilitates innovation. The private sector also views creating and fostering an innovative culture in their organisations as a crucial step towards innovation.

The Chamber has already sent the questionnaire for the next session of the index to more than 57,000 companies from a variety of sectors in Dubai based on the recommendations of the first cycle of the Dubai Innovation Index. The results of the second edition of the index will be revealed during Innovation Week in November next year.