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DFDF allocates up to 20pc of $270m fund for climate tech

DUBAI, December 5, 2023

The Dubai Future District Fund (DFDF) has earmarked a substantial 20%, equivalent to AED200 million, of its AED1 billion ($270 million) fund for supporting climate technology and innovation. 
This announcement, made on COP28's Finance Day, underscores DFDF's pivotal role in fostering a sustainable and innovative future, aligning with the UAE's broader vision for economic diversification and sustainable development.
Launched by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, DFDF is a collaborative effort between the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF). 
VC ecosystem
This commitment reiterates DFDF's mission, enhancing Dubai's venture capital ecosystem and reinforcing its dedication to driving sustainable finance and innovation on a global scale.
Khalfan Belhoul, Chairman of DFDF and CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, said: "The substantial allocation of up to AED200 million from DFDF to sustainable technology ventures represents more than a monetary commitment; it signifies our continued mission to enhance Dubai’s venture capital ecosystem. At the heart of DFDF's operations is a deep focus on the Future of Finance and Future Economies; areas we believe are critical in driving forward the global agenda for sustainability and innovation.
“This approach is in clear alignment with the UAE's broader vision for economic diversification and sustainable development, a vision supported by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Our collaboration with DIFC is instrumental in this context, enabling us to pool resources, expertise, and networks to catalyse growth in these pivotal areas. Together, we are committed to creating a thriving ecosystem where innovation flourishes, and sustainable finance becomes the cornerstone of our economic framework."
Sustainable funding
Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority and Board Member of DFDF, stated: "As we progress towards a more sustainable financial landscape, DIFC remains committed to fostering access to more sustainable funding. The allocation represents our dedication to driving growth and supporting sustainability-focused tech and innovation ventures.
“Collaborating with the Dubai Future Foundation as founding partners exemplifies our unified pursuit of shaping the future of finance and innovation. This initiative is a testament to our Strategy 2030, emphasising the empowerment of leading tech firms with innovative solutions aimed at addressing pressing global challenges."
The decision to earmark a significant portion of the fund for sustainable technology ventures underscores DFDF's steadfast commitment to shaping the future of finance and economies across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia regions of the Global South. This dedication plays a pivotal role in advancing the global agenda for sustainability and innovation, particularly in the context of the momentous developments in the Middle East. 
DFDF aims to work with multinational partners, foundations and government agencies to galvanise capital towards strategic Climate Tech initiatives, including venture capital and market development activities. 
Pivotal sectors
This move by DFDF into Climate Tech encompasses pivotal sectors such as Food and Agriculture Tech, Building Materials, and Logistics Tech. This expansion follows DFDF's collaboration with DFF on the 'Future of Food' paper, underscoring their unwavering dedication to research and development in sustainability.
Sharif El Badawi, CEO of Dubai Future District Fund, added: "DFDF is strategically allocating a considerable portion of the fund to climate technology ventures, underscoring our unwavering commitment to the COP/CIF landscape and reinforcing our focus on the Future of Food, Future of Logistics, and the overarching theme of Financial Inclusion. Our pledge extends beyond mere financial investments; it symbolises our resolute dedication to reshaping Dubai's venture capital landscape.
“In harmony with the UAE's vision for economic diversification and sustainable development underscores our responsibility to the wider neighborhood of the Global South. By synergising resources and expertise, we aim to amplify our collective impact, catalysing growth and fostering a thriving ecosystem where innovation flourishes, and sustainable finance becomes the cornerstone of our economic framework."
With the UAE hosting COP28, DFDF, DFF, and DIFC are united in their dedication to advancing sustainable finance and innovation. Their collective aim is to set a global benchmark for future initiatives in this field, aligning with the region's burgeoning potential not only in Climate Tech, but also in alternative proteins. 
Credit Suisse estimates the worth of this sector to be a staggering $1.4 trillion by 2050. By establishing themselves as global leaders in alternative protein production, Middle Eastern countries anticipate a significant reduction in their reliance on food imports, currently constituting 85% of the GCC's domestic food needs. This transformative approach positions the region as a frontrunner in shaping the future of sustainable economies and global trade.--TradeArabia News Service


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