Which one sector alone contributes almost half to Dubai’s economy?
Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has released a new study on the local SME sector.
Underlining the role and importance of the SME sector in the overall economy in Dubai, the study, which was initiated during the first quarter of 2018, showed that SMEs continued to create a significant number of job opportunities and add substantial value to the emirate’s economy.
SME contribution to Dubai’s economy rose from 40% in 2009 to 47% (almost half) in 2016 while their contribution to job creation rose from 42% to 52.4% during the same period in spite of slow global economic growth, the study showed.
Younger start-ups make up nearly 50% of the companies registered in Dubai and it validates the emirate’s appeal as a global centre for entrepreneurship, knowledge transfer and innovation, which also boasts of a state-of-the-art infrastructure and flexible legislative framework conducive to investment.
“SMEs in Dubai have demonstrated their ability to withstand regional as well as global instabilities and continued to march with confidence,” His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED, said.
Al Qamzi also stressed the need for clear policies that enable SMEs to absorb rapid changes and grow sustainably thus reinforcing the emirate’s competitiveness.
His Excellency Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said, “Dubai SME will continue to launch innovative initiatives to accelerate enterprise growth and provide practical solutions to the challenges facing SMEs, particularly innovative financing mechanisms, global start-up programmes that strengthen Dubai’s leading position as one of the best destinations for foreign investment regionally and globally that also supports transfer of knowledge and technology.”
Al-Janahi said that Dubai SME was among those organisations that recommended to the United Nations to launch a global day for SMEs in 2016 to highlight the importance of the sector and share best practices among policy makers across nations.
According to the UAE Ministry of Economy, SMEs are the key engines of the national economy and are identified as one of the most important strategic drivers to support productive sectors.
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More than 94% of the companies operating in the UAE are SMEs and together, they account for more than 86% of the total private sector workforce as well as more than 60% of the country’s current GDP, which is estimated to go up to 70% by 2021.