Abu Dhabi unveils new platform to support SMEs

Twenty-five public and private entities team up to launch 'Set up in Abu Dhabi' initiative

Added's SME sector chief Mouza Al Nasiri, right, and Creative Zone chief executive Lorenzo Jooris during the signing ceremony. Photo: Added
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Twenty-five government and private entities have joined forces to launch a new platform to support micro, small and medium enterprises (mSMEs) in Abu Dhabi.

These include the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (Added), Dubai’s business set-up advisory company Creative Zone, the Abu Dhabi Global Market, Twofour54, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, Microsoft and Hub71.

Called “Setup in Abu Dhabi”, the platform aims to support business owners as they set up and grow their businesses in the UAE capital, Added said on Tuesday.

The initiative will offer integrated corporate solutions, advice and assistance to mSME owners.

Added is keen to enable the private sector to come up with more solutions to support and incentivise entrepreneurship and SMEs
Mouza Obaid Al Nasiri, executive director of the SMEs sector at Added

The platform is positioned as a marketplace where users will find all information related to setting up a business, support services such as banking, insurance, legal advice, tax and accounting, human resource services and much more, Added said. ​

The department is keen to enable the private sector to come up with more solutions to support and incentivise entrepreneurship and SMEs, said Mouza Al Nasiri, executive director of the SMEs sector at Added.

Setup in Abu Dhabi is a “significant step to provide a suitable ecosystem to support mSMEs as it is one of the vital sectors in the economy and plays a critical role in increasing GDP [gross domestic product] and job creation”, she said.

Other partners include Masdar, Khalifa Industrial Zone, ZonesCorp, Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone, Khalifa Fund, Abu Dhabi SME Hub, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Etisalat, Telr, SME PM, Vestigos, Bloovo, DHL, InsuranceMarket.ae, Daman, Obeid and Medawar Law Firm, Team Red Dot and CZ Tax and Accounting.

As of 2018, there were 54,234 SMEs in the capital, out of which 33,760 were micro, 18,945 were small and 1,529 were medium enterprises, according to the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi.

Start-ups, SMEs and big enterprises in Abu Dhabi are active in various fields, including property, mining, manufacturing, gas and power supply, logistics, information and communications technology and financial activities.

The emirate’s recent steps to further enhance the economic climate and stimulate private establishments include reducing the number of requirements to start a business by 71 per cent and slashing business set-up fees by over 90 per cent.

Due to an innovative and flexible approach towards its economy, Abu Dhabi is counted among the fastest emerging international business centres, Creative Zone chief executive Lorenzo Jooris said.

“The government has deployed several different entrepreneur-focused projects and Setup in Abu Dhabi will unite and bolster these projects under one umbrella to make it easier for foreign and local entrepreneurs to navigate Abu Dhabi’s business landscape,” Mr Jooris said.

Updated: February 15, 2022, 12:37 PM