Dubai, an international hub for trade and innovation, has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to nurturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the launch of the ‘Dubai International Growth Initiative’. Led by the astute leadership of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, the project earmarks a substantial Dh500 million to propel SMEs from Dubai onto the global stage. This programme emphasises Dubai’s ability to recognise the boundless opportunities surrounding SMEs and to draw in more foreign business ventures in the emirate.
Dubai's vibrant business environment has fostered the creation of numerous global success stories and inspired entrepreneurs to make a remarkable impact with their ideas and initiatives. Today, we are delighted to announce the launch of the 'Dubai International Growth Initiative… pic.twitter.com/IMserh2HKd
— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) January 28, 2024
SMEs often encounter a plethora of challenges when attempting to expand their businesses into new markets. These obstacles may include constrained resources, unfamiliarity with local cultures, and difficulties in establishing networks.
However, the launch of the Dubai International Growth Initiative functions as a lifeline to SMEs through the robust support and array of opportunities created for these kinds of organisations. The project is coherent with the vision of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33), which is designed to double the size of the economy by 2033. The well-laid-out agenda also focuses on consolidating Dubai’s position among the top three cities worldwide.
Emphasising the importance of the project, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed noted, “The Dubai International Growth Initiative will support the global expansion of SMEs founded in Dubai. Small and medium-sized enterprises play a vital role in the emirate’s economy, comprising 95% of registered businesses.” As such, the newly launched campaign resonates with the emirate’s vision of fostering economic growth by identifying 400 high-potential companies, supporting their capacity building, and facilitating their global expansion.
Undeniably, the Dh500 million-dirham initiative accentuates how SMEs are among the backbones of Dubai’s economic prosperity. To put it into context, small businesses account for more than 60% of job opportunities in the city. HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed even recognised their intrinsic value when he remarked, “To all entrepreneurs worldwide who have chosen Dubai as their launchpad, we extend our steadfast support locally and internationally. You are key contributors to Dubai’s success, and your partnership is vital to achieving the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33.”
As such, the substantial funding demonstrates Dubai’s goal to empower SMEs with the resources they need to thrive in the international market.
The project is also in collaboration with Emirates National Bank of Dubai (Emirates NBD), which is one of the leading banking groups in the Middle East in terms of assets. Emirates NBD’s contribution is crucial in facilitating the financing aspect of the undertaking.
Simultaneously, the competitive rates charged at the Emirates’ Interbank Offered Rate (EIBOR) guarantee that SMEs are able to obtain the necessary funding to fuel their expansion efforts and capitalise on growth opportunities. The zero additional margin implemented could also be utilised by small businesses that meet the project’s eligibility requirements.
Concurrently, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed acknowledged that “the private sector remains a crucial partner in nurturing the growth of Dubai’s economy.” With this, Dubai-based private entities like Seed Group—a business unit of The Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum—are instrumental in amplifying the impact of such initiatives. SMEs in particular can benefit from the expertise and resources of private organisations that supplement the work of government-sponsored programmes. The successful mutually beneficial alliances will thereafter contribute to Dubai’s economic vibrancy.
The launch of the Dubai International Growth Initiative presents SMEs a gateway to global expansion and market penetration. Guided by the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, small businesses are empowered to harness Dubai’s strategic location, business-friendly regulations, and robust infrastructure to lift their start-ups to new heights of success. In turn, the launch of the endeavour represents a key juncture in the continuing expansion and success of Dubai’s economic panorama.
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