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Technology is 'completely different landscape' from other sectors, says Abu Dhabi investment group CEO

  • The technology sector is offering global opportunities to investment groups such as Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG), the CEO of the firm told CNBC.
  • ADFG is an Emirati investment company with more than $6 billion under management. In April, it acquired a strategic stake in Silicon Valley-based venture fund 500 Startups.

The technology sector is offering global opportunities to investment groups such as Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG), the CEO of the firm told CNBC.

"When we talk about technology, it's a completely different landscape from any other conventional sector. Technology really is something that does not work with the conventional way of thinking and how an investor thinks," ADFG's Jassim Alseddiqi told CNBC's Hadley Gamble in Abu Dhabi.

ADFG is an Emirati investment company that was founded in 2011 and now has more than $6 billion under management. In April, it acquired a strategic stake in Silicon Valley-based venture fund 500 Startups.

Alseddiqi said the investment allowed ADFG to broaden its scope.

"When we took a stake in 500 Startups, for us global reach was very important and 500 Startups is basically in every continent," he said. He added that the group had made tech investments closer to home, however.

"We do a lot of technology investing in the Middle East and specifically the United Arab Emirates. We have a lot of investments in the tech sector in Abu Dhabi, we have offices in India and Egypt that support our tech development," he said.

"So Silicon Valley is a great hub for technology. However today, technology is really borderless. There are many countries and jurisdictions and cities all over the world that offer the right opportunity for start-ups or even mature technology investments."

'A very special city'

Speaking about the ADFG's base in Abu Dhabi, one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, Alseddiqi said it alone had a lot to offer investors.

"Abu Dhabi is a very special city, it has grown significantly over the last 50 years. Abu Dhabi has it all and ticks all the boxes for investors, for tourists, for education seekers. We have the right infrastructure in terms of airports, health care, leisure facilities and business."

He cautioned that investors had to be "realistic" about growth prospects, however, "we're not going to see 50 percent growth every year but I think it will be double-digit growth. High-tens growth but we'll see this very soon," he added.