SME awards presented

DUBAI — His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, yesterday presented 18 awards to local entrepreneurs for their outstanding performance in business and for contributing to the expanding entrepreneurial environment of Dubai and the whole of UAE.

By Jose N Franco Jr

Published: Tue 24 Apr 2007, 9:04 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:17 PM

The awards, in six special categories, were presented to the winners of Mohammed bin Rashid Awards for Young Business Leaders, at a well-attended ceremony.

One of them, Hamda Harizi, has been engaging in the import and export of caviar and seafood since she was 17 years old. Now at 31, her company Black Pearl International has Dh55 million in assets — a far cry from when she started with a capital of only Dh7,500.

Mubarak Ahmad Al Ali, of AL Itqan Carpentry & Decoration, sells 'fire-rated' or fire-resistant wood-doors for residences and offices. Starting with a Dh2,000-capital and three employees seven years ago, his company now has a total asset of Dh6 million and employs 65 people.

"I'm really happy about this award," said Harizi, who won two awards-'Best Business Leader Award (Female)' and 'Best Business Leader (Female) for doing business between here and Europe, US, Russia and Iran.

"There is no difference between men and women when it comes to business," she said when asked how it felt as an Arab woman to win the award in a male-dominated environment. "A person who works really hard deserves such a prestigious award."

She said she wants to be a role-model to women who wish to get into business. She added that women should be driven by a strong sense of responsibility to become successful.

Monther Darwish, an engineer and owner of MD Interior Design, said it was hard to go into business at the beginning but with an ample support from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment, his 18-month-old interior-design company posted a Dh5-million turnover last year.

Launched in 2002, the establishment aims to nurture the domestic entrepreneurial spirit in Dubai and further promote the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises, according to Abdul Basit Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment.

Darwish, who won both the 'Best Design Business' and the 'Best Business Leader Award (Male)', said the establishment has been very helpful for his company to get new contracts and open new markets outside of the UAE.

Mohammed Almeeza, chairman of O2 Marketing Communications, said the establishment would add more value to his Dubai-based company that has offices in Bahrain and Damascus. "My company will now be in a better position in the market because of this prestigious award," he said.

The Ministry of Labour and the Emirates Group were chosen as best federal and local government bodies, respectively. Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman of Emirates Group, and Dr Ali bin Abdullah Al Kaabi, UAE Labour Minister, received the awards.

Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid, Chairman of Dubai Executive Council and Chairman of the Board of Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment, attended the event together with a number of dignitaries, government officials, and businessmen.

Al Ali won the 'Best Manufacturing Business' award while Almeeza won the 'Best Marketing & Promotion Business' trophy.

The 'Entrepreneur of the Year' award was given to Mohammed Saeed Harib, creator of UAE's first cartoon show "Freej". The winners include Ebdah Askar, 'Best Arab Start-Up Business (Male) for his project The Horse Hospital in Kuwait; Atif Karrani, 'Best IT Business' for his Mobile Ware project; Naeema Al Amiri, 'Best Tourism Business' for Oyoon Al Maha; Saad Ebrahim Abbas, 'Best Health & Well-Care Business' for his company International Business Consult for Health and Medical; Sami Al Najjar, 'Best Service Business' for Eurotech Auto Maintenance Centre and Tariq Al Jaberi, 'Best Food and Beverage' for China Wall Restaurant.

More news from Business