Technology sector

DIF technology investments and growing interest in the tech sector in Dubai

Dubai is going through a digital revolution fueled by the ambitions of investment companies such as Dubai Investment Fund (DIF) and the support of the UAE government. In 2001, Microsoft opened its first regional base in Dubai, lured by the UAE’s 50-year free incentive and promise of 100% capital repatriation. This started a technology trend and soon HP, IBM, SAP, Oracle, 3M and Google set up regional centers in Dubai.

This has created a “cluster effect”, which makes Dubai an investment hub for tech companies. Today, Dubai Internet City is considered the Silicon Valley of the Middle East. It is home to some of the largest billion dollar unicorns in the Arab world like Telegram, Yalla Group, Careem, Souq, Maktoob, Property Finder, Media.Net, Vista Global and Kitopi.

As part of the UAE government’s vision of an economy beyond oil, private sector investment is exploring new ways to expand the country’s economy. Technology remains a hot topic for new investments in the region post-COVID. The government is actively supporting private investment in technology through 100% foreign ownership, no corporate tax, easy exit plans for companies, strong business regulations and clearinghouse channels. alternative financing. The country has 30 free trade zones with plenty of incentives for tech startups and foreign investment funds.

Abu Dhabi Global Market Square (formerly called Sowwah Square) Office in Al Maryah Island Financial Free Zone

Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM) Free Zone is home to some of the largest private equity firms on par with emerging economies like Singapore, Malaysia, Israel and the UK. Dubai Investment Fund (DIF) is one such company at the forefront of change in the UAE. The fund manages over $300 billion in assets under management and actively invests in technology companies across multiple industries. It invests in all geographies on international stock markets and in foreign companies through private equity partnerships.

The Dubai Investment Fund (DIF) was launched in 2001 and has remained strong through several cycles of inflation and recession. Its investment philosophy remains anchored in constant diversification and the discovery of new emerging technologies. DIF is rapidly expanding its technology vertical by investing in traditional and offbeat technology companies.

In 2017, DIF further expanded its investment portfolio in the IT sector with new partnerships with leading technology companies and emerging startups. That year, DIF made significant investments and took stakes in companies such as Qualcomm, Intuit, PayPal, Booking Holdings, VMware and AutoDesk.

“While we believe we did extremely well in growing the portfolio of companies we invested in in 2017, one thing is clear, investing in the right companies remains key to the strategy going forward,” said Amir Shams. , CEO of DIF. “As DIF grows and investment conditions and metrics change, we are committed to creating new, innovative opportunities for our portfolio companies and ourselves, while continuing to seek opportunities aligned with the three pillars. of DIF – which are Diversification, Innovation and Growth.”

According to DIF CEO Amir Shams, these investments will help the company’s investors reap the benefits of the coming digital revolution in the Arab world. DIF is well positioned across the entire technology chain in the MENA region thanks to a network of long-term partnerships with multinational companies.

The DIF’s core portfolio includes investments in hydrocarbons, heavy industries, infrastructure, telecommunications, finance and clean energy. As DIF gains majority shareholder status in some of the largest regional companies and parent companies, its technology investments can leverage its core portfolio investments.

DIF is also active in the UAE’s artificial intelligence (AI) ambitions. The company was the first to open an AI lab in Dubai in 2016 to develop machine learning capabilities and better understand the future possibilities of AI. DIF remains a key investment partner for established brands and regional tech startups. It is one of the most diversified funds in the world, with deep roots in Asia, Europe and the United States. The fund targets more than 7,300 individual and institutional clients in more than 61 countries. The company looks beyond short-term gains to explore long-term partnerships with businesses, institutions and government agencies for the betterment of local society and the environment. DIF remains one of the main investors in green energy in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia.


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