District 2020 Ecosystem Sales & Tenanting

Client: District 2020

Location: Dubai, UAE

Target Sectors: Focus on technology sectors and smart mobility, wellness & digital health, smart cities and logistics

Markets: Global project with a focus on key markets of the UK, Germany & Israel

Delivery: 2019 – 2021

About the project 

District 2020 will evolve from Expo 2020 Dubai as a smart and sustainable city centered on the needs of its urban community. It will provide a curated innovation-driven business ecosystem that brings together global minds and embraces technology and digital innovation to support industry growth.

Following the six months of the World Expo, District 2020 will re-purpose 80% of the Expo’s build environment into an integrated mixed community that will continue to attract businesses and people to work, live, visit and enjoy. District 2020 had been designed to support the future of working and living, and facilitate connection and collaboration. It will be home to an inclusive and diverse community seeking a more balanced way of life – a place that prioritizes well-being, inspires new ideas, facilitates growth and enables human potential.

Key Challenges:

District 2020 is the primary legacy project stemming from Expo 2020 Dubai

  • Highly competitive landscape in the UAE and wider MENASA region to attract quality companies and international investors means that District 2020 needs to stand out in a crowded space
  • 12 month delay to Expo 2020 Dubai due to CV19 has postponed District 2020’s launch commensurately.  Companies’ plans have changed significantly in that time so District 2020 has needed to adapt its approach too
  • Ecosystem model is genuinely new for the Middle East and moves away from the traditional property-led / rentier economic model in the region

How OCO Global Supported:

Since mid-2019, OCO has been working with District 2020 to build, attract and engage with a pipeline of quality corporate investors.  This has included:

  • 5 sector specific value propositions in 2019
  • Longlist of more than 500 target investor companies built & maintained based on latest signals
  • Roadshow support and investor meetings in China, UK, Spain & Germany
  • 30 meetings with qualified leads in 2019-2020
  • Connections with 5 x Israeli multiplier organisations in 2021

“As part of District 2020’s vision of growing an innovation ecosystem, we seek to build strong relationships with global organizations with a similar vision. OCO has been a great partner along this journey given their wide network and detailed understanding of the requirements of companies looking to set up in Dubai and access the customers of the MEASA region”. Angela Abeidat, Associate Director Business Development at District 2020