Interview: Hamad Al Ameri
How is technology shaping investment strategy, and to what extent is this disrupting the industry?
HAMAD AL AMERI: Technology has repeatedly proven its capacity to redefine markets and drive change. The pace of innovation today has a profound influence on corporate priorities and is poised to shape our economic future. From unprecedented access to troves of data and information in real time, to the emergence of blockchain and financial technology solutions and the rapid growth of e-commerce platforms that are redefining consumer behaviour, it is clear that technology is not just shaping investment strategies – it is disrupting them.
The UAE is a model for harnessing technology to achieve development. An example of this is the digital economy strategy launched in April 2022. With the goal of doubling the digital economy’s contribution to GDP within a decade – from 9.7% in April 2022 to 19.4% – this initiative embodies the country’s forward-thinking approach. Coupled with government initiatives at the federal and emirate level, the UAE is setting the stage for unparalleled strategic growth and value creation.
The rapid evolution of technology is an opportunity for investment. At Alpha Dhabi Holding, we aim to maximise the potential of technological advancements, and strike a balance between stable, recurring-income businesses and high-yield, disruptive ventures.
What are the most important developments in Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification agenda?
AL AMERI: Drawing on its forward-looking leadership and progressive outlook, Abu Dhabi has made significant progress towards diversification. Recent data illustrates this: GDP in the first quarter of 2023 grew by 3.9% year-on-year. Importantly, this expansion is being driven by the robust performance of non-oil activities, underscoring the success of diversification strategies. Adding another layer to this commitment, the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 not only reflects the emirate’s dedication to building an economy that is less dependent on oil, but also signals its intent to sculpt a sustainable economic framework.
Looking ahead, the role of capital markets in diversification is evident. We anticipate a strong pipeline of initial public offerings, including listings by companies from outside the UAE, which will enhance the diversity and resilience of our economy. This external interest serves as a testament to the global confidence in Abu Dhabi’s diversified economic roadmap.
Alongside other private sector firms, Alpha Dhabi Holding is playing an active role in the ongoing diversification agenda, aligning our investments with strategic government plans to create a diversified, inclusive and net-zero economy. Our portfolio spans multiple sectors that are recognised as having high-growth potential in the core strategies of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
In what ways can the private sector help to boost foreign direct investment (FDI)?
AL AMERI: The private sector stands at an inflection point, equipped with the tools to engage the global investment community and drive FDI. A foundational pillars of this potential is the proactive and supportive role of the Abu Dhabi government. By actively engaging the private sector, the government demonstrates its commitment to a collaborative growth trajectory.
Key examples include the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism’s initiatives to coordinate with private hospitality companies, and the global roadshows organised by the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX). Events like Abu Dhabi Finance Week are also important platforms, shedding light on the emirate’s robust investment infrastructure and highlighting its appeal to an array of local, regional and global investors.
Private sector firms, including Alpha Dhabi Holding, are positioned to support Abu Dhabi’s economic aspirations and capitalise on opportunities for growth. Our strategy, which includes plans to list ready subsidiaries on the ADX, is a testament to this strategic alignment.