Dubai launches $136 million initiative to boost SMEs’ global expansion

Initiative to offer competitive financing for local SMEs at competitive rates
Dubai launches $136 million initiative to boost SMEs’ global expansion
Initiative launched in collaboration with Emirates NBD

In a collaborative effort between the Government of Dubai and Emirates National Bank of Dubai (Emirates NBD), His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, introduced the ‘Dubai International Growth Initiative’. This visionary program has committed AED500 million ($136 million) to expedite the growth and global expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in Dubai.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed underscored Dubai’s pivotal role in the global economy and its leading position as an international hub for business and trade. “Guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and 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. In addition, Sheikh Hamdan said, “Small and medium-sized enterprises play a vital role in the emirate’s economy, comprising 95 percent of registered businesses.”

“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,” His Highness added.

Read more: Dubai maintains economic momentum with 3.3 percent GDP growth in first 9 months of 2023

In addition, H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, said: “Dubai has launched several initiatives aimed at empowering businesses, under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Among these, the Dubai International Growth Initiative, which allocates AED500 million to support SMEs, serves as a strategic commitment to the future development of Dubai’s economy.”

Furthermore, H.H. Sheikh Maktoum added: “Facilitating the sustainable global expansion of SMEs is a priority for the government in line with the D33 Agenda. These businesses play a pivotal role in the emirate, employing over 60 percent of the workforce. We express our appreciation to Emirates NBD for its strategic partnership with the Government of Dubai to support this initiative. The private sector remains a crucial partner in nurturing the growth of Dubai’s economy.”

Strategic sectors in focus

The ‘Dubai International Growth Initiative’ is open to all SMEs founded in Dubai, regardless of the owner’s nationality, with the aim of empowering these businesses to expand internationally. Moreover, the initiative will prioritize key strategic sectors within the emirate. In February, Emirates NBD will provide further details on the financing program, offering competitive rates based on the Emirates’ Interbank Offered Rate (EIBOR) without any additional margin.

To ensure the initiative’s success in meeting the strategic objectives of the emirate, a joint steering committee will be established. This committee, comprising representatives from the Government of Dubai and Emirates NBD, will guide the initiative, select eligible SMEs, oversee its implementation, and ensure its overall success.

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