In Conversation with H.E. Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation

The session focused on Dubai Future District, which will be dedicated to developing the new economy in Dubai.
In Conversation with H.E. Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation
11 February 2020: STEP Conference. (Photo by Dan Taylor – ©Dan Taylor)

Session Name: A Conversation with H.E. Khalfan Belhoul – Moderated by Fadi Ghandour

In one of the first sessions at STEP 2020, Fadi Ghandour, Chairman of Wamda and Founder of Aramex, one of the leading logistics and transportation companies in the Middle East and South Asia, conducted a fireside chat with H.E. Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation. The session focused on Dubai Future District, which was recently launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai.

Dubai’s Future District will be dedicated to cater to the new economy that will take shape in Dubai. The District will also see the Dubai World Trade Centre, Emirates Towers and Dubai International Financial Centre, all directly connected by a bridge, making it the Middle East’s largest district dedicated to developing the new economy.

The Dubai Future District is a physical and mental connection between three iconic projects; a strategic connection, and a mindset connection between: the Emirates Towers, which is the hub of innovation, the Dubai International Financial Center, which is the hub of all financial solutions, and the Dubai World Trade Center, which is the hub of events and is predominantly also focused on innovation.” H.E. Khalfan Belhoul, CEO, DUBAI FUTURE FOUNDATION

The Vision for Dubai Future District

Attendees of the chat gained insight into the plans and strategy of the project, which included finding solutions to provide affordable accommodation to startup founders, as well as an AED 1 billion fund to support new economy companies that can power Dubai’s future growth. According to Belhoul, “The Dubai Future District is a physical and mental connection between three iconic projects; a strategic connection, and a mindset connection between: the Emirates Towers, which is the hub of innovation, the Dubai International Financial Center, which is the hub of all financial solutions, and the Dubai World Trade Center, which is the hub of events and is predominantly also focused on innovation.” 

Additionally, Belhoul also noted that alongside the announcement of the district, came another, of 10 major initiatives that will be announced throughout 2020, which will be aimed at holding new international partnerships and developing future economic sectors that contribute to making Dubai an ideal destination for innovators. However, Belhoul did give insight into one of the initiatives, which is affordable and accessible accommodation for entrepreneurs.

Moreover, the Dubai Future District hopes to boost Dubai’s economy through various projects including the provision of a dedicated fund to promising startups and entrepreneurs. The new district, along with the new fund, will provide greater financing and legislative facilities and options for businesses. 

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