Dubai SME members awarded procurement contracts worth Dh973m in 2019

A total of 63 entities backed the government procurement programme, which supports Emirati entrepreneurs and businesses

A picture taken on December 25, 2019 shows the skyline of Dubai with Burj Al Arab (R) and Burj Khalifa(L), the world’s tallest building. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP)
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Dubai SME members won procurement contracts worth Dh972.9 million in 2019, as the government body tasked with the development of small and medium-sized enterprises looks to grow their contribution to the emirate's non-oil economy.

Of the total contracts, 48 per cent came from local government entities, 35 per cent from semi-governmental entities, 11 per cent from private sector entities, and 6 per cent came from federal government entities, Dubai SME said on Saturday.

“This reflects the role of the Government Procurement Programme (GPP) as one of the most prominent tools that support Emirati entrepreneurs as well as the role of Dubai SME in promoting cooperation and partnerships with various entities that contribute to supporting the SME sector and economic development in Dubai,” the agency said.

The GPP, introduced in 2002, mandates government agencies, institutions, and companies in which the government owns 25 per cent or more in equity to allocate 10 per cent of their purchases to Emirati companies that are part of Dubai SME.

“We are constantly striving to implement the Dubai Government strategy that aims to increase the percentage of SME contribution to the non-oil gross domestic product, support the SME sector, enhance its growth and competitiveness, and contribute to raising the ease of doing business in the country,” Abdul Basit Al Janahi, chief executive of Dubai SME, said. “The contracts and purchases awarded by various entities to Dubai SME members affirm a shared commitment to achieving these goals.”

A total of 63 governmental, semi-governmental, and private entities cooperated with Dubai SME members in 2019 as part of the programme.

The top five entities to award contracts to Dubai SME members last year include the Roads and Transport Authority with the value of contracts at Dh114m, Dubai Municipality at Dh96.2m, Union Coop at Dh85.8m, Emirates Flight Catering with Dh83.9m and Emirates Group with Dh72.8m.

Among federal government entities, the Ministry of Health and Prevention topped the list with purchases and contracts from Dubai SME members valued at Dh24.3m, followed by the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation at Dh15.1m, and the Ministry of Education at over Dh13m.

Emirates Flight Catering provided the most contracts among semi-governmental entities with Dh89.9m in value, followed by Emirates Group at 72.8m and Emaar Properties at 62.9m, among others.

“All entities, including government, semi-government, and private, extending their support to Emirati entrepreneurs and their start-ups is important as these projects have a prominent role in enabling and promoting the growth of knowledge-based and innovative national projects,” Sami Al Qamzi, director-general of Dubai Economy, said.

Dubai SME has also taken a number of steps to support Emirati start-ups and companies amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Earlier this month, the agency rolled out a series of measures including the postponement of rent payments, easier access to SME financing and remote assistance to its members on successfully navigating operational challenges.

In May, Dubai SME said it allocated Dh20m to a capital guarantee scheme backing peer-to-peer loans made to small and medium businesses in an effort to alleviate any financial strain on these companies.

The guarantee scheme was first launched by Dubai SME's financial arm, The Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund, and lending platform Beehive to facilitate funding of up to Dh780,000 for businesses that are fully owned by Emiratis.

The scheme was later extended to allow Dubai-based SMEs that are 50 per cent owned and managed by Emiratis to seek funding up to Dh420,000, which will be backed by a 50 per cent capital guarantee.