Dubai Targets Global Talent with $136 Million Initiative to Attract Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
The Dubai International Growth Initiative for SMEs is anticipated to catalyze a wave of expansions and new product launches by existing SMEs and marketplaces, leveraging interest-free loans.
SMEs constitute a substantial 63.5 percent of the UAE’s non-oil GDP.
The Dubai government’s $136 million push to empower small businesses to globalize is poised to draw entrepreneurs and top talents worldwide for the establishment or expansion of businesses in the emirate, contributing to global endeavors. Experts and industry players affirm the inclusivity of the initiative as a strategic move to enhance Dubai’s cosmopolitan business landscape.
The initiative is also expected to trigger a surge in expansions and new product launches by existing small and medium businesses, capitalizing on interest-free loans to gear up for regional and global pursuits.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, launched the “Dubai International Growth Initiative,” allocating AED 500 million ($136.1 million) to accelerate the global expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) established in Dubai.
Several Dubai-based entrepreneurs laud the soft loan component of the initiative, foreseeing it as a significant boost for SMEs pursuing regional and global ambitions.
Leo Dovbenko, Co-Founder of YallaHub, emphasizes the potential for independent brands to enhance growth and development with interest-free loans for SMEs in the UAE. The initiative aligns with YallaHub’s goals, supporting Dubai’s small businesses in expanding globally.
Global gifting marketplace Flowwow anticipates the government’s proactive measures to bolster SME growth and local makers. With SMEs accounting for 63.5 percent of the country’s non-oil GDP, the initiative is considered a vital step toward fostering innovation, economic resilience, and helping Dubai-based SMEs expand globally.
Rada Russkikh, founder of Rada Russkikh and Gedonist Cosmetics brand, emphasizes the evolving landscape with increased state-level support for SMEs. Access to capital is crucial for growth and expansion, and the initiative is seen as a positive step in facilitating global business development.
Dr. Kiran Nair, Associate Professor of Marketing at Abu Dhabi University, commends the inclusivity of the initiative, stating that it can contribute to the development of a resilient and dynamic economy, further globalizing the UAE economy in the long run.
The financing component of the initiative, provided by Emirates NBD at competitive rates, is recognized as a pragmatic measure addressing the bottleneck for SMEs seeking affordable financing to invest in international ventures, research and development, and critical expansion aspects.
Amidst these developments, UAE businesses like Sanctuary are already making moves to expand globally, partnering with overseas players. The government’s initiative is seen as potentially easing the path for companies aiming to go global.
Overseas investor Olga Romanova, founder of Romanovamakeup brand, sees the program as enabling Dubai brands to strengthen their market position and concentrate on developing new products for both local and international audiences.
Dr. Nair underscores that by prioritizing SME growth and providing financial support, the Dubai government is laying the groundwork for sustained economic expansion, job creation, and increased global competitiveness. The initiative acknowledges the importance of diversification and globalization in today’s interconnected economy, assisting SMEs in establishing a presence in regional and global markets.
Publish January 30, 2024
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