More than 16,000 new member companies joined Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2020 amidst COVID-19.
In 2020, Dubai Chamber saw the return on its investment in digital transformation over the years. The Chamber was digitally prepared as it made 98 percent of its core services available online, which enabled it to serve its members and customers remotely and efficiently, the organisation said in its annual report.
Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber, said: "Dubai Chamber remains fully committed to supporting businesses in Dubai as they adapt to a new reality and providing access to new growth opportunities at home and abroad."
The value of exports and re-exports of Dubai Chamber members amounted to AED 185 billion ($40.37 billion) and a total of 632,436 certificates of origin were issued by the organisation last year. Meanwhile, 2,914 ATA Carnets worth AED 3.3 billion were issued and received by the Chamber. The ATA Carnet system is managed by Dubai Chamber in cooperation with Dubai Customs, facilitating the temporary entry of imports to Dubai.
Dubai Chamber processed more than 659,000 e-transactions during the year, with more than 78 percent of the customers having to wait less than 5 minutes to be served. In March 2020, it launched an electronic attestation service and the authentication of signatures on documents. This seamless digital transformation was reflective of the Chamber’s ability to quickly adapt to global changes due to its technological preparedness.
Joining forces with Google, Dubai Chamber unveiled plans to get 50,000 local businesses online by listing them on Google my Business and training them in digital marketing. This initiative has helped 100,000 businesses across the UAE get verified over the last two years. A separate partnership with Amazon was established to help Dubai Chamber member companies expand their digital presence, capitalise on new business opportunities and learn about the benefits of selling online.
A virtual mediation service was launched to ensure the continuity of services during unprecedented circumstances, making the Chamber one of the first organisations of its kind in the region to offer this option. The Chamber received 215 virtual mediation cases during the year.
According to the annual report, another major initiative launched in 2020 was Business Connect, an information portal providing useful information and resources designed to help businesses deal with the impact of the pandemic.
A prime example of Dubai Chamber’s proactive approach to using innovation to curb the spread of COVID-19, help businesses drive growth is the Rapid Response Initiative – a new online marketplace for registration for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), which saw a 340 percent surge in registration after its launch.
Through its entrepreneurship arm Dubai Startup Hub (DSH), Dubai Chamber ensured that SMEs and entrepreneurs received all of the guidance and support needed to navigate through new challenges and capitalise on new opportunities. A total of 2,166 entrepreneurs benefited from Dubai Startup Hub programs in 2020, 19 percent of which were Emiratis. By going fully digital, Dubai Startup Hub increased value of services to the startup community and hosted 48 webinars and virtual events during the year.
(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)
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© ZAWYA 2021