Dubai SME members win government contracts worth $251m in 2021

Expo 2020 Dubai topped the list of local government support agencies with contracts amounting to more than $44m

Within Dubai, SMEs account for 95 per cent of companies and employ 42 per cent of the workforce, comprising 40 per cent of the emirate’s economy. Reuters
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Dubai SME members, including Emirati entrepreneurs and national companies in Dubai, won contracts worth Dh921.6 million ($251m) last year, a yearly increase of 3 per cent, as part of the Government Procurement Programme (GPP).

The procurement contracts were awarded by various local and federal government entities, semi-government bodies and private businesses, Dubai Media Office said in a statement on Tuesday.

Expo 2020 Dubai topped the list of local government support agencies of GPP last year with contracts amounting to Dh161.7m. It was followed by Roads and Transport Authority (Dh95.2m), Dubai Municipality (Dh44.2m), Dubai Health Authority (Dh36.5m) and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dh24.5m).

The GPP initiative has provided exceptional opportunities for local entrepreneurs to demonstrate their success in turning innovative ideas into commercially viable projects in a range of sectors, said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai.

“An increasing number of government and private sector entities are making important contributions to supporting the journey of entrepreneurs in Dubai,” he said.

Since 2002, GPP has enabled contracts worth more than Dh8.4 billion for Dubai SME members, from 69 entities across the government, semi-government and private sectors.

In the past 20 years, it has secured at least 16,934 procurement contracts for 362 Emirati companies in various sectors. The commercial sector accounted for 83 per cent of the contracts, while 13 per cent went to the companies in the professional sector and the remaining to industrial firms.

The GPP initiative required government entities and establishments in which the government holds 25 per cent or more equity to allocate 10 per cent of their purchasing to Emirati companies that are members of Dubai SME — one of the agencies of the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) in the emirate.

Dubai SME has evolved into a comprehensive ecosystem capable of supporting Dubai’s emergence as a centre for entrepreneurial innovation in technologies and industries of the future, Sheikh Hamdan said.

“Small and medium enterprises are among the most important drivers of economic and social development in any country as they have a major role in advancing human and material resources,” said Helal Al Marri, DET’s director general.

The SME sector represents more than 94 per cent of total UAE companies and employs more than 86 per cent of the private sector workforce, a Dubai Chamber report released in November 2020 showed.

Within Dubai, SMEs account for 95 per cent of companies and employ 42 per cent of the workforce, comprising 40 per cent of the emirate’s economy, the report added.

“The Government Procurement Programme is an opportunity for our small and medium enterprises that operate in more than 30 diverse sectors to develop and grow their business by supplying the needs of government-backed entities,” said Abdul Al Janahi, chief executive of Dubai SME.

“The programme has had a successful journey since its inception, enhancing SME capabilities and positioning these enterprises as major contributors to both Dubai and the UAE’s GDP [gross domestic product].”

Updated: March 23, 2022, 6:42 AM
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