DUBAI, The long-term prospects for the UAE economy, drivers of economic strategy and role of the private sector will take centre stage at the UAE Economic Outlook 2017, to be held on 17th and 18th January in Dubai.

Hosted by Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, the event will be held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council.

More than 300 officials, including private sector champions and policymakers, will share their observations and experiences, and highlight the way forward at the interactive forum.

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee in Dubai, will deliver the keynote address at the 4th forum to be held under the theme "Getting a Head Start on Tomorrow: Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Growth and Diversification." Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade, will also address the session.

The event will bring together key decision makers of the UAE's public and private sectors, as well as local and international economists and researchers, who will analyse the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in future economic development and diversification. The first day of the event will feature presentations and debates on the opportunities and challenges lying at the heart of the economic prospects of Abu Dhabi and Dubai in 2017. The second day will focus on the policy environment that best supports innovations, sustainability and diversity.

Referring to the strategic importance of the event in highlighting the UAE's role in global economy, Dubai DED Director-General Sami Al Qamzi said, "The UAE Economic Outlook has been a significant step in promoting sustainable economic development in the UAE and showcasing the varied opportunities this country presents for the business community worldwide. Encouraging the public-private co-operation is the core objective of the event and it can be achieved only through dialogue and sharing of perspectives on the latest economic developments and variables."

Khalifa Al Mansouri, acting Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi DED, said the fourth session of the UAE Economic Outlook would underline the strategy of the UAE Government to consolidate the efforts of all federal and local government entities towards advancing innovation and entrepreneurship in order to achieve sustainable economic development as defined by the UAE Vision 2021.

"The importance of the 4th UAE Economic Outlook lies in its focus on the role of innovation in promoting entrepreneurship and the role of non-oil sectors in promoting GDP growth. The Government of Abu Dhabi pays great attention to supporting innovation and innovators and also enables the private sector to contribute to the emirate's economy," he added.

Recent developments in global and regional markets and their potential implications on the UAE economy will be the topic of discussion at the first session on Day 1, and its highlight will be featured in a presentation by Paul Moreno-Lopez, Lead Economist, GCC Countries, at the World Bank. Mohammed Shael Al Saadi, CEO, Corporate Strategy, at Dubai DED, will moderate the session while Dr. Raed Safadi, Chief Economic Advisor at Dubai DED, and Khalifa Ali Al Hosani, Acting Director at Abu Dhabi DED, will present the economic outlook of the respective emirates for the year 2017.

The second session of the day will focus on the UAE economy's long-term prospects, drivers of economic strategy and role of the private sector. Dr. Aisha Butti Bin Bashr, Director-General of Smart Dubai Office; Christof Ru?hl, Global Head of Research at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority; Marios Maratheftis, Chief Economist, Standard Chartered, and Dr. Khaled Elsayed Desouky, Economic Expert, Abu Dhabi DED, will be the panellists.

The first session of the second day will see Richard Dean from the Arabian Radio Network moderating a discussion on "Path to Diversification: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the UAE." Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO, Dubai SME; Mohammad Saeed Al-Shehhi, CEO, Dubai Design District; Shaikha Al Maskari, Chairperson, Al Maskari Holding; Mohamed Ismail Al Fardan, Director, City Zone, Masdar City, and Shady Shaher Elborno, Head, Macro Strategy, at Emirates NBD, will join as panellists.

The final session of the event will evaluate the past, present and future of diversification in the UAE and the lessons learnt from the diversification experience in other countries. Dr. Wifag Adnan, Distinguished Fellow, INSEAD, will be joined by Dr. Mohammed Lahouel, Chief Economist at Dubai DED; Mansoor Al Malik, Legal Director, Twofour54, and Faisal Al Hammoudi, Director, Abu Dhabi DED, at the panel discussion.

Source: Emirates News Agency