DUBAI - Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, supported its members with procurement contracts worth AED 896 million from 61 local and federal government entities and other establishments in 2020. The contracts, facilitated as part of the Government Procurement Programme (GPP), had a major role in start-ups and SMEs in Dubai enhancing their competitiveness and sustaining growth in spite of COVID-19.
The procurement contracts underline the importance of GPP in enabling Emirati entrepreneurs to play their part in the national economy as well as the role of Dubai SME in promoting collaboration between the various entities supporting the SME sector and economic development in Dubai.
Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of Dubai Economy, commented: "The Government Procurement Programme reflects the continuity and firm commitment from the public and private sectors in the country to supporting SMEs. In spite of Covid-19, a total of 61 governmental, semi-governmental, and private entities cooperated with Dubai SME members in 2020.
"Simultaneously, the Programme has become a benchmark for the diversity and competitiveness of Dubai SME members. We are grateful to the leadership for their foresight and we look forward to SMEs emerging as a strategic component of sustainable and innovation-driven economic growth in Dubai, and the UAE."
Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, added that Dubai SME supports and contributes to Dubai’s strategy to increasing the share of SMEs in the gross domestic product (GDP). "SMEs constitute 99% of the businesses in the Dubai and GPP has contributed to enhancing confidence in their capabilities and potential. Since its inception in 2002, the Government Procurement Programme has continued to empower entrepreneurs and the local start-up community."
The Law No. (16) of 2016 on issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, mandates government agencies, institutions, and entities in which the government holds 25% or more in equity to allocate 10% of their purchases to Emirati companies that are members of Dubai SME, thus affirming the leadership’s confidence in national competencies and their role in building a competitive and diversified economy.
The GPP has so far supported Dubai SME members with AED 7.5 billion worth of contracts. Members of the GPP are exempt from registration fees for membership in the smart procurement portal for government procurement Al Janahi said Dubai SME members won AED 896 million worth of contracts under GPP in 2020, of which 47% were from Dubai Government entities while 22% came from semi-governmental entities, 21% from the private sector, and 10% from federal government entities. The commercial sector accounted for 83% of the purchases, while 12% came from the professional sector, 4% from the industrial sector, and 1% from the tourism sector.
The leadership in the UAE has continued to emphasise the importance of supporting national projects to advance economic development in the post-COVID phase, added Al Janahi. "All government agencies have been directed to extend stronger support and collaborate in implementing the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum towards achieving the GPP goals set in 2002."
Al Janahi also called for improved co-ordination and response from government agencies and institutions that have yet to achieve the SME procurement target percentage. He also reminded about the importance of giving priority to tenders submitted by Emirati entrepreneurs and projects in line with the directives of the leadership to ensure the best service and highest level of support for citizens.
Dubai government entities awarded AED 427.563 million worth of contracts to Dubai SME members in 2020. RTA topped the list of government entities supporting owners of national projects with contracts valued at AED 101 million, followed by Dubai Health Authority (AED 82.7 million), Dubai Municipality (AED 52.6 million), Dubai Police (AED 40.6 million), and Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment (over AED 33.9 million).
Among federal government entities the Ministry of Education led in terms of supporting GPP members with purchases and contracts valued at AED 45 million, followed by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (AED 21.8 million), and the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (over AED 17 million). Altogether, support from federal government entities exceeded AED 87 million in 2020.
Emirates Group topped the list of semi-governmental entities supporting the GPP members with purchases and contracts valued at AED 79 million, followed by Emirates Flight Catering (AED 34.9 million), Dubai Holding (AED 26.5 million), Emirates National Oil Company, ENOC (AED 18.7 million), and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications ‘Du’ (AED 16.4 million). Overall, the sector contributed AED 195 million in contracts to Dubai SME members in 2020.
The GPP has also led to various partnerships with the private and public sectors in the UAE, which is an essential component of the Dubai SME strategy to provide added value to entrepreneurs through facilitating their business development and contracts and purchases from both sectors. Union Coop topped the list of private sector entities supporting the GPP with purchases and contracts valued at AED 136.5 million, followed by Emaar (AED 25.9 million), and Etihad Airways (AED 21.8 million).
WAM/Tariq alfaham/Hassan Bashir© WAM (Emirates News Agency) 2021