20 Dec, 2017
The 6th Dubai Hamburg Business Forum recently concluded in the German port city of Hamburg with a call to expand cooperation between Dubai-based businesses and their Hamburg counterparts in the areas of digitalisation, smart mobility and fintech, as both cities embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The forum was organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, while it also coincided with a high-level trade mission to Hamburg led by Dubai Chamber.
Held under the theme, “Digitalisation – The Driver of Tomorrow’s Growth”, the forum brought together public and private sector stakeholders from Dubai and Germany to explore new horizons for fruitful cooperation between the two cities.
The event was held in the presence of H.E. Ali Abdullah Ahmed, Ambassador at the UAE Embassy in Berlin; H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber; H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber; H.E. Hisham Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice Chairman, Dubai Chamber; H.E. Tobias Bergmann, President of Hamburg Chamber of Commerce; and H.E. Cornelia Prufer Storcks, Senator for Health and Consumer Protection for the City of Hamburg.
Addressing delegates at the forum, H.E. Al Ghurair highlighted the many synergies which Dubai and Hamburg share as cities that have witnessed rapid change and digital transformation in recent years. He pointed out that Dubai has achieved great progress in its mission to become one of the smartest cities in the world, while Hamburg has successfully leveraged Internet of Things (IoT) technology to maximise the advantages of digitalisation.
“There is no doubt that the future will be digital, with new technologies and innovations expected to transform our business communities. By strengthening our cooperation, I believe we can pave the way for new partnerships that fuel digital transformation and create great value and benefits for our societies,” said H.E. Al Ghurair.
In his welcome remarks, H.E. Tobias Bergmann, President of Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, described Dubai as Hamburg’s most important industrial partner, and added that economic cooperation between the two cities fosters employment, stimulates innovation and new product developments in many fields.
Participating in a moderated talk, H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber; and Prof. Dr. Hans- Jörg Schmidt-Trenz, Representative and Counselor, Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, discussed potential for strengthening ties between business communities in Dubai and Hamburg.
H.E. Buamim noted that Dubai offers German businesses plenty of growth opportunities as a gateway offering easy access to emerging markets in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, adding that Germany, as a leading centre for innovation, education, and renewable energy, can provide the right expertise to support Dubai’s transition to a sustainable and knowledge-based economy.
The first panel discussion was joined by Dr. Juma Al Matrooshi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Operations & Client Affairs, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority; Avira Tharakan, CEO, Docswallet: Digital Locker Services (UAE); Christoph Pregizer, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Viewlicity (Germany); and Bastian Schafer, Innovation Manager at Airbus Operations (Germany). During the session, panellists highlighted how companies in Dubai and Hamburg are adapting their business models to keep pace with new trends and innovative technologies.
Leading the second panel discussion entitled “Mobility 4.0” was Dr. Kay Hubner, CTO, atobCARRY Holding (Germany); Andreas Raabe, Business Director SpiceVR (Germany); Mohsen Al Awadhi, Vice President Logistics, Dubai South; Hassan Jan Saduzai, Co-Founder & CEO, eZhire (UAE); and Peter Lindlahr, CEO, hy SOLUTIONS (Germany). During the session, industry experts spoke about new mobility solutions being adopted in Dubai and Hamburg, including autonomous driverless systems and smart public transport.
The third and final panel discussion focused on steps being taken by Hamburg and Dubai to develop and grow their respective fintech sectors. Participating in the session were Raja Al Mazrouei, Acting Executive Vice President of FinTech Hive at DIFC; Mark Chahwan, Co-Founder, Sarwa (UAE); Dr. Christian Königsheim, Co-Founder, Taxdoo (Germany); and Dr. Stefan Link, CTO, FFG FINANZCHECK Finanzportale (Germany).
Speaking during the session, Al Mazrouei, Acting Executive Vice President of FinTech Hive at DIFC, noted that Germany and the UAE are two countries which aim to become leading fintech hubs, and revealed that DIFC recently launched a $100 million fintech-focused fund to accelerate the development of the financial technology in the MEASA region.
“We look forward to fostering our collaboration with Germany and sharing knowledge to further enhance the fintech industry and the investment environment in the UAE and deliver on our commitment to support DIFC’s vision of being the hub for fintech in the region,” said Al Mazrouei.
Following the forum, the Dubai Chamber-led delegation visited Hamburg’s Center of Applied Aeronautical Research, Airbus, and Hamburg’s Health Innovation Port, where they learned more about new and innovative technologies that have been adopted throughout the German city.
Since its launch in 2007, the Dubai Hamburg Business Forum has become an ideal platform for joint cooperation and partnership for the business communities of Dubai and Hamburg, which has led to fruitful cooperation in various sectors by investors and businesses in both cities.
The trade delegation to Hamburg was led by H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber, and joined by H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber; H.E. Hisham Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice Chairman, Dubai Chamber; Mohsen Al Awadhi, Vice President Logistics at Dubai South; Dr. Juma Al Matrooshi, Deputy CEO – Operations & Client Affairs, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority; Raja Al Mazrouei, Acting Executive Vice President, FinTech Hive – DIFC; Tahnoon Saif, Vice President of Aviation at Dubai South; Abdullah Sharafi, President, Gerab National Enterprises; Kirsten Staab, Director of Hamburg Representative Office UAE; James Bernard, Director – Business Development, DMCC; Mark Chahwan, Co-founder, Sarwa; Avira Thakaran, CEO, Docswallet; and Hassan Saduzai, Co-Founder & CEO, eZhire.