Young Arab entrepreneurs blaze a trail
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum with winners of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders in Dubai on Monday.
Young business leaders from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and Jordan awarded for innovation
By Waheed Abbas
Published: Mon 8 Jan 2018, 5:16 PM
Last updated: Mon 8 Jan 2018, 9:26 PM
Young entrepreneurs from the Middle East were honoured at the Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders in Dubai on Monday for their exceptional and innovative projects in the UAE and Arab world.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of the Executive Council, Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, and Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman and chief executive of Emirates airline and Group, gave away the awards to the winners at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Monday.
The awards were categorised in gold and silver. The young business leaders from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan and other countries were awarded at the ceremony.
Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, chairman of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, was named the Best Business Supporter of the Year.
According to Dubai SME, the 10th edition received 456 entries of which 251 are from the UAE while 78 entries and 127 nominated supporters are from the Arab world.
Of these, 76 businesses by Emirati entrepreneurs and 47 by other Arab entrepreneurs had qualified for the second round. In all, the shortlisted Emirati businesses have a combined revenue of Dh963 million, generated Dh180 million in profit and created over 4,000 jobs. Businesses from the Arab world that qualified for the second round generated a combined annual revenue of Dh230 million, and secured profits of Dh26 million while creating 1,400 jobs.
Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Dubai are growing at five per cent, contributing 40 per cent to the emirate's GDP.
He said that the rating systems launched by Dubai SME has received good response from the companies.
"The response for rating has been very well. The companies listed in SME 100 have got their ratings. There are a number of big groups which have a lot of ancillaries or clients from SMEs that they give credit to and they needed something like this. We started rating SMEs to enable them to have more access to finance, government contracts and build credit trust in them," said Al Janahi.
"We encouraged all SMES to register and get ratings because this will help them expand privileges from the government. Even when they sit with financers either for debt or equity, they will have better description of their business and status," Al Janahi said during an interview with Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the event.
Winning UAE Projects - Silver
. Best Project in Industrial Sector: Jincan Industrial Est
. Best Existing Project in Trade Sector: Feathers Fashion
. Best Project in Clothes Manufacturing Sector: Al Kandoura Gents Tailoring House
. Best Existing Project in Services Sector: Giftco International
. Best Emerging Project in Services Sector: Forceis Integrated Security Systems
. Best Project Launch: Pixel Film
. Best Concept for Innovative Project: Spirit of the Emirates project
. Best Project in Social Entrepreneurship Sector: Omniyati Prosthetics Arts Centre
. Best Project in Industrial Sector: Five Oceans - Oman
- Winning Arab Projects - Silver
. Best Project in Services Sector: Madfooat.com - Jordan
. Best Existing Project in Trade Sector: Nafath Renewable Energy - Oman
. Best Emerging Project: Al Rawi Media - Bahrain
- Awards for Best Government Entities Supporting Entrepreneurship in the UAE - Gold
- (RTA) Best Government Body (Large) Supporting the Government Procurement Programme
- (GDRFA) Best Government Body (Medium) Supporting the Government Procurement Programme
- (Dubai Holding) Best Semi-Governmental Body Supporting the Government Procurement Programme
- (Dubai Statistics Centre) Highest Purchasing Ratio in the Government Procurement Programme
- (Dubai Health Authority) Government Body with Highest Number of Initiatives Supporting the Government Procurement Programme
- (Emirates Group Catering) Best Private Entity Supporting the Government Procurement Programme
- (Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme) Best Federal Government Body Supporting the Government Procurement Programme
- (UAE University) Best University Supporting Entrepreneurship
- (General Department of Punitive and Correctional Institutions of the Dubai Police) Best Social Initiative Supporting Entrepreneurship
- (Hazaa Al Mansouri) Best Media Programme Supporting Entrepreneurship
- (Dubai Municipality) Best Government Body Supporting Entrepreneurship at a National Level
- (Ahmed Ibrahim Al Zarouni) Best Employee Supporting the Government Procurement Programme
Omani firm seeks UAE partners, $100m fund
Oman's Nafath Renewable Energy is looking to raise $100 million from a UAE partner and has also placed the emirates on its radar to set up a solar panel assembly here, its CEO said.
The company aims to take on mega projects between 10 megawatt to 50MW in the GCC by 2020 in the GCC region.
"We are in discussion with a consultancy in Abu Dhabi to put our leg in the UAE because government is heavily focused on sustainability and renewable energy. So I believe we can do something for the next few years.
"In solar panel, now the price in the market is $1,000 per kilo watt. So, if we start to plan a 100 mega we need $100 million. This is what we are looking to raise in the next five years to achieve from the UAE partner," said Abdullah Nasser Al Saaidi.
Established as an SME in Oman in 2012, Nafath is specialised in design, installation, operation and maintenance of solar power plant.
Al Saaidi was speaking on the sidelines of Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders in Dubai on Monday.
"We are looking for two partnership - a financial partner and a consultant partner which knows the market, regulations and designs that we have to follow."
The UAE is a leading country in renewable energy and they focus a lot on sustainability. It is the first country which has put regulations in place to connect solar power panels to the main power grid. "So the potential in the UAE is very high but the competition is also high," he added.