World Chambers Congress

Guest blog: Dubai Chambers strategy to drive post-pandemic growth 

  • 15 May 2023

The 13th World Chambers Congress will showcase the trusted role chambers play in advancing economies worldwide. In this guest blog, Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, reveals how Dubai Chambers has adopted a pioneering three-chamber model to support its members and enhance the business environment in Dubai and beyond.

Agility and adaptability 

The last few years have undoubtedly been challenging for many economies. Some countries have seen sharp recoveries following the pandemic, others are still catching up due to external factors such as geopolitical risks and supply chain disruptions. Additionally, issues such as inflation and climate change are also putting pressure on the global economy. The IMF has projected that global growth would fall from an estimated 3.4% in 2022 to 2.9% in 2023, then rise to 3.1% in 2024. Having favourably emerged from the pandemic, we are still not out of the woods just yet.  

Despite the global economic uncertainty last year, on the back of high inflation, geopolitical crises and supply chain insecurity, Dubai witnessed robust economic activity as proxied by the 4.6% real GDP growth rate over the first three quarters of 2022. Dubai’s economy rebounded as business activity was largely driven by key sectors such as retail, tourism, hospitality, real estate and transportation. 

As a major international and regional trade and financial hub, strongly integrated into global supply chains, Dubai’s economy is projected to grow by 4-4.5% in 2023 due to global headwinds of expected global recession and higher interest rates. Despite the projected slower pace of Dubai real GDP growth this year, Dubai is expected to continue to outperform the global and regional estimates. 

The most valuable lesson learned from the pandemic is the need to be agile and adaptive. Operating in a fragmented market, organisations need to adjust and adopt more effective approaches to achieve their respective goals. Having foresight of this, our leadership decided to restructure the chamber in 2021.  

Three-chamber structure 

The new Dubai Chambers identity was unveiled in 2022 reflecting the three-chamber structure—Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy and Dubai International Chamber.  

Dubai Chamber of Commerce plays a crucial role in representing, supporting and protecting the interests of businesses in Dubai, while exploring new ways to meet the changing needs of Dubai’s fast-growing and dynamic business community. Dubai International Chamber supports Dubai’s vision to expand to new global markets, forge new economic partnerships and support local companies in achieving global success, while also attracting promising talent and investors from across the world. Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy works to build the world’s best digital infrastructure, transform Dubai into an international technology hub, support the interests of technology companies and strengthen the role of the digital economy in the emirate. 

Dubai Chambers is among the first chambers in the world to adopt a three-chamber model that is designed to drive growth and unlock potential within specific segments of the economy. All three chambers have put strategic initiatives and projects into place to better serve Dubai Chambers’ members, attract foreign companies and investors to Dubai and advance the Chambers’ advocacy agenda with the aim of enhancing the business environment in Dubai. 

Exclusive tactics 

Each of the chambers has its own individual brand, strategy and specialised approach. The new Dubai Chambers brand identity enables the organisation to implement a focused approach to promoting Dubai as a global business hub. 

It also showcases the crucial role Dubai Chambers is playing to support Dubai’s new economic ambitions and achieve the objectives of its strategy, which aims to better serve the needs of the business community, deliver added value for members and future proof Dubai’s economy in line with the emirate’s new vision and development plans. 

Each chamber has its own board members and advisory council members that steer the respective chamber towards achieving priorities outlined under its respective strategy. These boards draw on the expertise of industry leaders that is essential to supporting the chambers’ new strategic priorities of improving the business environment in Dubai, attracting foreign investments and international companies to the emirate, supporting member companies with global expansion, and growing Dubai’s digital economy. 

Although there are three chambers implementing their own tailored approaches to driving business, these chambers are working in tandem with their own dedicated board of directors and advisory councils to achieve new milestones as a unified chamber with shared ambitions.  

In a nutshell 

In the second year of our new strategy, we find that the three-chamber approach strengthens Dubai Chambers and enables the organisation to implement a more effective approach to promoting Dubai as a global business hub, driving economic growth and expanding the emirate’s trade ties with promising markets around the world.  

Disclaimer: The content of this article does not reflect the official views of the International Chamber of Commerce. The opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and other contributors.