Op-ed by Hisham Al Gurg, CEO of Seed Group and the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum
What are start-ups? These are companies that once started as a one-man (or a couple of them in some cases) idea and flourished into organisations with a brand fabric of their own. The magnitude of success these small businesses can taste is evident in the fact that some of the world’s largest and most successful brands today were once start-ups.
In that context, countries across the world need to look at SMEs as an integral part of their economic growth. We, the people of the UAE, are blessed with leadership visions and infrastructure innovation, to the extent that our city is today deemed a beacon of modernisation and a hotbed for entrepreneurial endeavours.
If you rewind just a few years, you’ll be able to see how Dubai has not only embraced change but has actively steered its trajectory towards becoming a global hub for technology and unconventional industries.
The recent launch of the ‘Dubai International Growth Initiative for SMEs,’ spearheaded by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, is a milestone decision—one that will play an important part in the journey of Dubai’s rise to economic prominence.
Over the years, Dubai has cultivated a thriving start-up ecosystem that rivals its global counterparts. How was that made possible? The city’s unwavering commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship has attracted talent and businesses from around the world. The city has strategically positioned itself as a global player, not only in traditional sectors but also in cutting-edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
Dubai’s leadership in the technological domain is exemplified by the establishment of a dedicated AI ministry, a testament to its forward-thinking approach. Such steps underscore the commitment to integrating emerging technologies into the fabric of governance and business operations.
But what is outstanding is the fact that Dubai’s success is not merely confined to local acclaim but is substantiated by its consistent topping of international indexes. The emirate’s prowess in various sectors, from ease of doing business to technological readiness, has solidified its position as a global economic powerhouse. Its commitment to excellence has attracted international attention, making it a coveted destination for ambitious entrepreneurs and forward-thinking businesses.
With a substantial value of AED 500 million, this initiative is truly a game-changer for all small and medium-sized enterprises, providing them with the financial backing needed to accelerate growth and expand globally. It echoes Dubai’s dedication to not only supporting local businesses but also positioning itself as a global enabler of entrepreneurship.
In a world where the likes of Silicon Valley have long been synonymous with technological innovation, Dubai’s rise stands as a testament to the transformative power of visionary leadership. As residents of Dubai, we celebrate this milestone and eagerly anticipate the catalytic impact it will have on Dubai’s entrepreneurial spirit and the global business community.
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