Dubai climbs to 14th on city innovation index

Dubai saw improvement in its private sector and skills and talent scores



Dubai has climbed to 14th place in the third innovation index produced by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The report, produced in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), showed the emirate ahead of Berlin, Madrid, Shanghai and Sao Paulo in the 30-city ranking after rising one place from last year.

This progress came through long-term government innovation strategies and various initiatives to foster innovation across different areas of society.

The innovation score of the emirate’s private sector increased by 3 per cent in this year’s index after a 6 per cent rise from 2015 to 2016. Dubai also saw a significant improvement in its skills and talent score.

The top five cities in the year’s ranking were Hong Kong, New York, London, Singapore, and Seoul. Dubai and San Francisco are the only two cities to show consistent improvement in their rankings since the study was launched.

A survey of Dubai’s business community conducted as part of the report showed 92 per cent of respondents believed that developing a business strategy that supports and encourages innovative thinking would improve their innovation capabilities.

Firms also agreed that the government should focus on setting formal policies and regulations to protect intellectual property, launching initiatives to boost innovation output like incubators and financing and funding government-backed innovation funds.

Private sector firms in Dubai were seen to be adopting measures to support innovation-related activities over the last year but the report also determined there was opportunities for private and public sector organisations to further develop innovation infrastructure and enforce intellectual property regulation.

“The results of the latest Index show that Dubai continues to make great strides in its transition to a knowledge-based economy and global innovation hub. Efforts to foster innovation have been introduced across all segment’s society, with notable achievements made within the city’s public and private sectors,” said Dubai Chamber president and CEO HE Hamad Buamim.

He added that there was also an urgent need to develop skills and talent to meet the needs of the fast changing business world with a particular emphasis on education that will provide young people with job opportunities.

Since last year’s study, firms were seen to have adopted many of the recommendations set out by the chamber including initiatives to improve education, import talent from abroad and embrace new technologies.

The third edition makes further recommendations to create a solid innovation ecosystem including collaboration between education institutions, a focus on consistent and continuous product development, collaboration with the global ecosystem and creating more funding opportunities for entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises.

The index is based on three main pillars: enablers of innovation, measuring innovation and honouring innovators, and was released as part of the UAE’s Innovation Month.

Read: UAE begins Innovation Month

Dubai Chamber plans to invest Dhs100m ($27.2m) in innovative projects and initiatives over the coming years.