The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is looking to expand its physical presence in Africa. The organisation – which represents the interests of the business community in Dubai – already has offices in Ethiopia and Ghana, and is launching another in Maputo, Mozambique.
According to the chamber’s president and CEO, Hamad Buamim, Mozambique holds notable opportunities for United Arab Emirates (UAE) businesses. The Dubai-based global port operator DP World already manages the port in Maputo, while Rani Investment has recently invested in real estate construction in the country.
“So we have successful stories there, and one thing we have noticed is that wherever the big players start operating, the medium and small players feel more comfortable to follow,” Buamim told journalists in Dubai yesterday.
“It is also around the discovery of gas in the country, which we think will open big opportunities to invest in infrastructure over there.”
“We are even looking at Rwanda. We have visited them and we have companies from Dubai already invested in their hospitality,” continued Buamim.
“But I believe it is a matter of time until we exist in most other African countries.”
Islamic opportunities in Africa
The Dubai Chamber has recently commissioned a study into the opportunities within the Islamic economy in Africa. The report’s findings – which will be presented at Dubai’s third annual Africa Global Business Forum next month – reveal large investment potential for Islamic finance, halal food and tourism.
The chamber has also developed the Africa Gateway Smart Application, a free app that aims to facilitate access to African investment opportunities.
“It provides information about these countries in an easy way to allow our businessmen to understand more about this market, and we will continue our efforts to raise more information about opportunities in Africa,” said Buamim.
Dubai’s geographic location, port infrastructure, and business environment have led it to become a trade centre for the Middle East, Europe and Asia. However, with growing global commercial interest in Africa, Buamim added there is an opportunity for Dubai to position itself as a trade and business hub for international companies looking to access the region.