Last week European Women in VC attended GITEX GLOBAL Largest Tech & Startup Show in the World in Dubai, which attracted over 6,000 exhibitors from 180 countries and around 120,000 attendees. Undoubtedly iconic, the conference is a unifying platform for visionary founders, venture capitalists, tech luminaries, and ecosystem enablers. But Dubai is not just a city - it's a hub for innovation and pioneering mega-projects that can reshape the future.
This year GITEX placed a special emphasis on the omnipresence of AI but also put spotlight on the critical role of impact investing in shaping a brighter future. In a panel discussion led by inspiring Nezha Alaoui and featuring Aditya Khurjekar, Chiara Marcati and Loubna Imenchal we underscored the pivotal role women play in identifying solutions to global challenges. We are looking forward to continuing this dialogue and seizing this unique opportunity to not only connect with LPs, VC funds, female founders but also foster the ecosystem and meaningful inclusion of women in the world of investing.
Big thanks to Andreas Munk Holm and EUVC, WOMENCHOICE.ORG and Nezha Alaoui, European Women in VC, Almudena Trigo Lorenzo, Ekaterina Almasque, Elina Halatcheva, Fatou Diagne, Jacqueline Ruedin Rüsch, Nina Foote, Stephanie Heller (Galantine), Stephanie Hospital, Hussain Al Mahmoudi, Jay Sadiq, Weronika Tomaszewska-Collins, Avita Garhwal Choudhary, Aditya Khurjekar, Jochen Wermuth, Lara Gervaise, Fabi Saad Niemeyer, Shahad Aljassmi, Kushboo Surana, Saroj Shayinee Pathak, Amit Grover, Chiara Marcati, Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park).
The transition towards a diversified economy is underway, marked by several significant developments:
1. Reduced Oil Dependency: There is a clear shift away from heavy reliance on oil as these regions aim for economic diversification.
2. Embracing Global Engagement: Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are actively pursuing openness to the world, positioning themselves as leading destinations for tourism, business, innovation, and lifestyle.
3. Population Growth and Reforms: The Emirati and Saudi kingdoms are driving ambitious population growth plans, accompanied by extensive infrastructure, social, and economic reforms.
4. Mega-Projects Abound: A plethora of mega-projects is in progress, including NEOM, the world's largest green hydrogen park, Sharjah Sustainable City, M Glory E-Vehicle mega factory, Dubatt Battery Recycling plant, the Red Sea Project with 50 resorts, King Abdullah Economic City, Al Quoz Creative Zone, Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park and Masdar City in Abu Dhabi.
5. Addressing Scarcities: Efforts to tackle food and water scarcity include horizontal farms and desalination initiatives.
These developments reveal a significant transformation in these regions, setting the stage for a dynamic and diversified economic landscape. We extend our gratitude to GITEX IMPACT, Praveen Nair, and Nadia Boumeziout for their contributions to the dialogue on sustainable technology in aviation. Your insights are invaluable in shaping this exciting transition.
What an incredible adventure it has been! I just can’t believe I was a part of GITEX and I could speak and share my thoughts in the panel at this breathtaking conference. The experience of connecting, exploring, forging synergies and building bridges has been nothing short of amazing. I'm captivated by boundless hunger for success, scale, and opportunity in the Gulf Region and I am looking forward to continuing this dialogue, transcending boundaries and sharing the wealth of Europe's experience with this region.
~ Kasia Piasecki, Managing Partner at European Women in VC