Dubai SME launches fourth cycle of its 'Dubai SME 100' programme

Under the patronage of Hamdan bin Mohammed

  • Initiative seeks to identify and rank the best-performing SMEs in the emirate
  • Latest cycle to bring focus to the exceptional performance of SMEs even during the pandemic
  • Dubai continues to strengthen its position as an ideal platform for SMEs to scale up and grow

Government of Dubai Media Office: Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has launched the fourth cycle of its ‘Dubai SME 100’ programme.

An initiative that ranks the top 100 SMEs in Dubai based on their performance, ‘Dubai SME 100’ aims to identify and qualify distinguished SMEs based on certain financial and non-financial parameters and support their growth in line with international best practices.

The ranking programme is part of Dubai SME’s strategy to strengthen Dubai's position as a global hub of entrepreneurship and an attractive destination to invest in innovation and creativity. The fourth cycle of the Programme is particularly significant as it will highlight SMEs in Dubai that have shown great resilience and progress despite the challenges posed by the global pandemic.

Commenting on the occasion, His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of Dubai Economy, said: “The presence of such a large number of small and medium enterprises is a significant factor contributing to the unique diversity and rapid development of the economy in Dubai. SMEs contribute to 47% of the GDP and account for 51% of the workforce in Dubai. Many of the prominent brands associated with Dubai had their origins as humble startups. SMEs have always provided an attractive solution for entrepreneurial talents in Dubai seeking to translate their creative ideas into successful projects, with the potential to grow globally.”

Al Qamzi added: “Enabling SMEs to grow in an increasingly competitive business environment requires a good understanding of their business models and the challenges they face as well as a commitment to providing solutions and nurturing innovations. Dubai SME has been playing a pivotal role in this regard since its inception in 2002 through launching pioneering initiatives, with ‘Dubai SME 100’ being one of such programmes supporting the development of SMEs and celebrating their success.”

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said: “’The Dubai SME 100’ has gone past a number of milestones since its launch and also played a major role in enhancing SME performance in Dubai, which is positively reflected in the overall economy in the emirate. The ranking programme has also contributed to enhancing awareness on the importance of developing the SME sector and the significance of Dubai as an incubator for innovative ideas, in addition to supporting SMEs to grow and attract global investors.”

Al Janahi added: “Our objective is to build on the previous successes of the Programme, especially in these times as SMEs are concerned about handling the economic recovery phase. Results of the previous cycles have shown that 88% of ranked SMEs managed to achieve more than 10% growth in sales. In addition, high growth SMEs achieving more than 20% sales growth accounted for 69%. Overall, 98% of ranked SMEs managed to improve performance.”

The ‘Dubai SME 100’ programme is an eminent example of the support provided by the Government of Dubai in partnership with the private sector to enhance the productivity and resilience of SMEs so that they can scale up and grow.

‘Dubai SME 100’ has grown into a programme to recognise SME excellence, which in turn has helped a number of SMEs in Dubai to attract global attention. Careem being acquired by Uber for US$ 3.1 billion, Property Finder attracting US$120 million in investment from US private equity firm General Atlantic, and Dimensions Healthcare, a leading global provider of information and technology services to the healthcare and life sciences industries being acquired by IMS Health, are just some examples of Dubai-based SMEs that have made remarkable success on the global stage.

Given the focus of the Programme on helping enterprises identify gaps and address them, Dubai SME has now restructured ‘Dubai SME 100’ to include a new criteria to assess the rate of productivity and the extent of digital technology adoption.

SMEs ranked under ‘Dubai SME 100’ can enjoy a series of benefits, including a capacity-building programme designed to meet the needs of executives, financial managers, human resources managers, information technology managers and quality managers. The Programme includes the provision of advisory and guidance services and training sessions in partnership with international partners.

Specialised financing solutions at low interest rates provided by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund, the financial arm of Dubai SME, in cooperation with the Beehive platform, are also part of the package of benefits offered under ‘Dubai SME 100’. The 100 enterprises ranked are also introduced to a promising business and financing network, in addition to varied channels to enter new markets.

Dubai SME, along with its partners in the government as well as public and private sectors, will continue to encourage the ‘Dubai SME 100’ companies through identifying areas for development and launching programmes and policies that support these enterprises to grow globally.


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