Dubai and Mastercard Forge Digital City Partnership for Economic Development

Dubai and Mastercard

Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) has announced a partnership with Mastercard to accelerate the emirate’s growth in line with the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33.

Through this strategic alliance, dubbed the Digital City Partnership, the DET and Mastercard intend to support Dubai’s transition to a smart, digital economy by enabling new international trade opportunities for businesses and expanding export capabilities, leveraging Mastercard’s expertise in facilitating secure and efficient payment transactions, according to a Friday (July 7) press release.

Notably, the partnership will prioritize the growth of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the release said. Providing them with digital tools, resources and mentorship, the collaboration is intended to foster innovation, competitiveness and sustainability within the sector.

“This Digital City Partnership with Mastercard, a renowned global brand, comes at a pivotal time, as we are focused on delivering the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda 2033, driven under the guidance of our visionary leadership to further reinforce the city’s central position in the global economy,” Hadi Badri, CEO of the Dubai Economic Development Corporation at DET, said in the release.

The partnership also plans to leverage digital technologies to further enhance Dubai’s tourism industry, introducing innovative payment solutions and improving visitor experiences, according to the release.

J.K. Khalil, cluster general manager, MENA East at Mastercard, said, “We are delighted to enter the region’s first Digital City partnership with the Department of Economy and Tourism as we harness the power of our advanced technology to help translate Dubai’s ambitious vision to reality.”

In addition, the alliance seeks to attract and nurture Emirati and global talents in the digital sector, fostering a skilled workforce equipped with the capabilities to drive the city’s digital economy forward, the release said.

Khalil emphasized the potential of partnerships for driving inclusive and sustainable development, saying Mastercard is “forging meaningful collaborations to accelerate digital transformation across the globe.”

The partnership underlines the model of collaboration between the government and private sectors in Dubai, aligned with the city’s accelerated programs for economic and digital transformation, per the release. With the Digital City Partnership between DET and Mastercard, Dubai is set to become more future-ready, taking advantage of digital technologies and global best practices.

This partnership is the latest of Dubai’s efforts to become a destination for digital commerce.

Dubai launched the first digital nomad visa in the Middle East when it introduced its Remote Working Visa Scheme in March 2021. The emirate allows mobile workers to reside in the UAE for up to a year with an opportunity to extend.

In another project, Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed approved a $100.7 million venture capital (VC) finance fund aimed at helping startups across the region.