Global | dubai announces $136m fund to push smes in global markets

Dubai announces $136m fund to push SMEs in global markets

SMEs in Dubai looking to expand in regional and overseas markets have been given a boost with launch of a new $136m funding scheme.

The Dubai International Growth Initiative, launched by the government of Dubai in partnership with Emirates NBD, will boost efforts of Dubai SMEs seeking to set up an international presence, according to the Dubai Government Media Office.

The initiative is one of a number of steps the emirate has taken to support businesses and “serves as a strategic commitment to the future development of Dubai’s economy”, the media office said.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, commented: “Aligned with the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33, to double the size of the economy, the Dubai International Growth Initiative will support the global expansion of SMEs founded in Dubai.”

He added that SMEs were pivotal in maintaining the emirate’s position as an international hub for business and trade, he said.

“The consistent and robust support for entrepreneurs, investors and SMEs reflects Dubai’s business-friendly environment, making it an attractive destination for both local and global investments,” Sheikh Hamdan said.

SMEs make up more than 90% of registered businesses in the UAE.

Dubai’s latest initiative is open to all SMEs founded in the emirate, irrespective of the owner’s nationality, and will be focused on “strategic sectors” of the economy.

Dubai Government Media Office confirmed that Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest lender by value, will provide financing to eligible companies at competitive rates, charging only the Emirates’ Interbank Offered Rate (Eibor), with no additional margin.

It said a joint steering committee will be established, comprising representatives from the government of Dubai and Emirates NBD, responsible for guiding the initiative, selecting eligible SMEs, overseeing the implementation and ensuring its success in meeting the emirate’s strategic objectives, it added.

“Facilitating the sustainable global expansion of SMEs is a priority for the government in line with the D33 Agenda,” said Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. “These businesses play a pivotal role in the emirate, employing over 60% of the workforce.”

Launched in January last year, D33 aims to double the size of Dubai’s economy, with a target of reaching Dh32 trillion by 2033 and establishing the emirate among the top three global cities.

The plan envisages a programme to support 30 private companies to achieve the so-called unicorn status – companies with a valuation more than $1 billion. Other business incubators will support the growth of private companies, with 400 of the most promising identified.


Dubai economy grew 3.3% in first nine months of 2023

Dubai’s economy expanded by an 3.3% in the first nine months of last year, driven by growth in the hospitality and tourism and transportation sectors, the latest government data shows.

The emirate’s accommodation and food services industry recorded 11.1% growth, while the transportation and storage services sector surged by 10.9%, according to the Dubai Media Office.

The transport and storage sector, which includes land, sea and air transport and logistics, contributed 13.1% to Dubai’s GDP in the first nine months of 2023, injecting Dh42.9 billion into the emirate’s economy.

The accommodation and food services sector accounted for 3.4% of the emirate’s economy, making a value addition of Dh11.1 billion, according to the Media Office statement.

“Our success is also a result of the continuous, collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors. Together, we are working within a unified framework to realise the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33,” said Helal Al Marri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism.

“Our focus is not only on maintaining the current momentum but also on further strengthening an environment that enables businesses to thrive,” Al Marri said.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said: “This success is the result of the harmonious collaboration between all of Dubai’s economic stakeholders, including its public and private sectors.

“It is also a reflection of Dubai’s favourable economic climate, robust world-class infrastructure, pro-business regulations and deep talent pool which together consistently draw in a diverse array of investors and entrepreneurs from all corners of the globe.”