‘Dubai International Growth Initiative’ allocates Dh500 million to accelerate global expansion of SMEs

Initiative to provide Dubai-based SMEs financing at competitive rates


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Published: Sun 28 Jan 2024, 5:16 PM

Last updated: Mon 29 Jan 2024, 4:05 PM

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai launched the ‘Dubai International Growth Initiative’ on Sunday.

Dh500 million was allocated to the initiative to accelerate the expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) established in Dubai into global markets. The Government of Dubai launched the initiative in partnership with Emirates NBD.

Sheikh Hamdan underscored Dubai’s pivotal role in the global economy and its leading position as an international hub for business and trade. “The Dubai International Growth Initiative will support the global expansion of SMEs founded in Dubai. Small and medium-sized enterprises play a vital role in the emirate’s economy, comprising 95 per cent of registered businesses,” Sheikh Hamdan said.

“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,” he added.

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 Dh500 million to support SMEs, serves as a strategic commitment to the future development of Dubai’s economy.”

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 per cent 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.”

Open to all SMEs founded in Dubai, irrespective of the nationality of the owner, the initiative is designed to empower businesses to expand internationally. The initiative will focus on key strategic sectors of the emirate. Emirates NBD will announce further details on the financing programme in February.

Emirates NBD will provide financing to eligible companies at competitive rates, charging the Emirates’ Interbank Offered Rate (EIBOR) with no additional margin. A joint steering committee will be established, comprising representatives from the Government of Dubai and Emirates NBD, responsible for guiding the initiative, selecting eligible SMEs, overseeing the implementation and ensuring its success meeting the emirate’s strategic objectives.

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