Dubai's government and Mastercard launch Digital City Partnership

07 July 2023 4 min. read

Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mastercard, a global leader in payment innovation and technology, to form a Digital City Partnership to further accelerate the emirate’s economic growth in line with the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda.

According to DET, the partnership is a pioneering move, with the global first at a city level set to pave the way for Dubai to harness Mastercard’s multi-rail payments network and data-driven digital commerce technology, which connects over 100 million merchants globally across all sectors and segments to address key priorities of the Dubai Economic Agenda.

Known as the D33 Agenda, the agenda aims to double the size of Dubai's economy by 2033, making it one of the top 3 cities for living, investing, and working.

In a statement, the Memorandum of Understanding will lead to the development and implementation of a multi-year Digital Partnership programme in Dubai, focusing on:

Enabling growth of trade and exports: The collaboration aims to enable new international trade opportunities for businesses and expand export capabilities, leveraging Mastercard’s expertise in facilitating secure and efficient payment transactions.

Developing SMEs and enabling innovation: The partnership will prioritise the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), providing them with digital tools, resources, and mentorship to foster innovation, competitiveness, and sustainability.

Attracting and developing talent: Dubai and Mastercard will work together to attract and nurture Emirati and global talents in the digital sector, fostering a skilled workforce equipped with the necessary capabilities to drive the city's digital economy forward.

Accelerating growth across the tourism ecosystem: The Digital City Partnership aims to leverage digital technologies to further enhance Dubai’s tourism industry. Implementing innovative payment solutions and improving visitor experiences, will support Dubai’s vision to become a top 3 global destination for visitors across leisure, business and specialised services.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Hadi Badri, CEO of Dubai Economic Development Corporation at the Department of Economy and Tourism, and J.K. Khalil, Cluster General Manager for MENA East at Mastercard.

Comments from leaders

Hadi Badri, CEO of Dubai Economic Development Corporation at DET, commented: “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.”

“Through this strategic alliance, we are partnering with a global connector of digital payments to further strengthen Dubai’s position as the world’s most connected city. Mastercard has a track record of successful partnerships with companies across a broad range of sectors and segments, and this initiative signifies a new paradigm of economic collaboration at the city level.”

“Through this partnership, Mastercard will mobilise its global resources and extensive experience as a global digital leader to unlock the city’s potential in line with the D33 Agenda.”

“This partnership underlines the unique model of collaboration between the government and private sectors in Dubai, and aligns seamlessly with the city’s accelerated programmes for economic and digital transformation. The collaboration is also a testament to the trust and confidence that multinational corporations have in Dubai and will further boost efforts to position Dubai as the best city in the world to visit, live, work, and invest in.”

J.K. Khalil, Cluster General Manager for MENA East at Mastercard, said: “At Mastercard, we recognize the limitless potential of partnerships in driving inclusive and sustainable development, and we are forging meaningful collaborations to accelerate digital transformation across the globe. Mastercard has a proven track record of supporting governments in digitizing public services, empowering small businesses, fostering talent and fuelling tourism.”

“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. We are proud to build on our 35-year legacy in the market as we usher in a new chapter to support the UAE’s exemplary growth story.”