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Dundee council leader hopes to attract investment from Dubai

Dubai Advantage Conference participants with Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce chief executive Alison Henderson, Dubai FDI director Ibrahim Ahli, Dundee City Council leader John Alexander and Dubai Culture and Arts Authority representative Saeed Mubarak Kharbash in front.
Dubai Advantage Conference participants with Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce chief executive Alison Henderson, Dubai FDI director Ibrahim Ahli, Dundee City Council leader John Alexander and Dubai Culture and Arts Authority representative Saeed Mubarak Kharbash in front.

The leader of Dundee City Council hopes to attract investment after the city hosts a government delegation from Dubai.

Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce hosted the delegation over three days to showcase business opportunities in the region.

It teamed up with Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), The Corporate Group and Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce to organise the Dubai Advantage Conference.

Leader of Dundee City Council John Alexander believes the event and new connections will benefit the city.

He said: “Dundee’s economic performance has continued on an upward trajectory, from recent record increases in employment to being named as a top 20 UK destination for inward investment.

“The only way that this trend will continue is if the city, collectively, takes Dundee nationally and internationally to attract investment and development.

Dundee City Council leader John Alexander.

“That is why the city will continue to work, hand in glove, with the Chamber of Commerce and businesses to drive forward an ambitious agenda.

“Dubai is a global hub and it will no doubt surprise many to hear of the links with Dundee.

“Our city can benefit from such connections and we will continue to expand our efforts to make Dundee an attractive destination for inward investment and job creation.”

Strong bonds between Dundee and Dubai

Over 20 representatives from the Dubai government presented business opportunities and offered assistance to set up business and trade within their region to local firms.

At Al Maktoum College, they met Mr Alexander, leaders of Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc and culture and university representatives showcasing Dundee’s business ambitions.

Dubai FDI investment promotion department director Ibrahim Ahli said: “The relationship between Scotland and Dubai is based on a foundation of strong diplomatic, economic and business ties.

“A relationship built on deep cultural and commercial ties can only make the growth story even stronger.

“Dubai has traditionally given a warm welcome to the participation of Scottish companies and offered in return an immense potential for growth and success.”

Dubai is one of Dundee’s seven twin cities.

Inspiring Dundee businesses

Exploring new business opportunities was Dr Mhairi Towler, founder of scientific animation studio Vivomotion.

The chief executive said the Dubai delegation showed incredible support for entrepreneurs and innovation.

“I enjoyed hearing about a city which I have not yet had the chance to visit, but would now love to go,” said Ms Towler.

Vivomotion founder and chief executive Dr Mhairi Towler.

“The values being imbued were so aspirational, for example the aim to make Dubai the happiest city in the world, as well as all the smart city initiatives.

“I will follow up with contacts and potentially set up an exhibition of my animations with the arts and culture group.

“I really enjoyed getting a different perspective of Dubai from those who live, work and play there.”

Exploring investment opportunities

Dubai FDI is part of the department of economic development. It provides practical help to foreign businesses on all aspects of business decisions and management.

The agency manages and supports ventures to stimulate and sustain foreign investment in Dubai.

Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce chief executive Alison Henderson.

Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce chief executive Alison Henderson has been meeting the delegation.

She said: “The Dubai delegation enjoyed three days in Scotland, exploring the business connections and opportunities between our two countries.

“We have made many connections over their time, particularly with a focus on the sister city connections of Dundee and Dubai.

“We look forward to exploring investment opportunities and collaborations.

“We’ll be following up with a series of virtual meetings to continue the work begun in Dundee during this visit.”

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