Local and Federal Government entities play a significant role in supporting the growth of national start-ups by providing lucrative contracts and business opportunities through the Government Procurement Programme, GPP, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, said.
The programme is a leading initiative that provides business opportunities for Emirati Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, and supports them in expanding their operations, thereby promoting national entrepreneurship and contributing to enhancing Dubai’s GDP, Sheikh Hamdan added.
The total value of the contracts provided by Dubai SME – the agency of the Department of Economic Development, DED, in Dubai, mandated to develop the SME sector - for GPP members amounted to AED1.5 billion in 2017, 44.5 percent higher than the AED857.76 million recorded in 2016. For the first time, the value of the contracts exceeded AED1 billion.
Sheikh Hamdan thanked His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, for his support for the SME sector, citing Article 12 of Law No. 16 of 2016, which requires all Dubai Government entities - as well as institutions where the Dubai Government owns more than 25 percent of the capital - to procure 10 percent of their purchases from Emirati-owned Dubai-SME-member start-ups.
The entities are also required to waive any fees associated with joining their ‘approved supplier’s registrar’ for Dubai SME members, in addition to giving them preference over other companies when evaluating tenders and bids – as long as the difference between theirs and the best offer does not exceed 5 percent.
Sheikh Hamdan also applauded all federal and local government and semi-government entities, as well as private organisations, that had put forth initiatives and efforts to improve the performance of the GPP.
In evaluating its results, the programme took into consideration the nature of the support offered by each entity, the number of initiatives it launched, as well as the number of SMEs benefitting from their support.
According to recent Dubai SME statistics, which were published in a detailed report, the value of contracts allocated to Emirati entrepreneurs and startups through the GPP has reached AED5 billion since the agency was established in 2002.
The report revealed that Dubai Municipality allocated more than AED482 million in 2017 in contracts and tenders, and offered more than 30 initiatives and exclusive franchises for Emirati entrepreneurs.
The municipality also helped these entrepreneurs establish their projects at lower costs by allocating a number of shops and sites exclusively for them, in addition to prioritising them when signing contracts in major projects, such as: Dubai Safari, Hatta Development Projects, and the Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, among others.
The Roads and Transport Authority has awarded contracts worth more than AED107 million in 2017 to Emirati entrepreneurs. In turn, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs offered contracts valued at AED11 million for more than 33 national companies.
Meanwhile, Emirates Flight Catering offered contracts worth more than AED120 million to Emirati entrepreneurs since joining in 2016, followed by Dubai Holding, which awarded AED102 million worth of contracts to national companies in various sectors and activities, in addition to supporting SMEs in Dubai.
The Dubai Statistics Centre procured 20 percent of its purchases through the programme – the highest percentage among government agencies – and provided contracts worth more than AED3 million.
The Dubai Health Authority made purchases worth more than AED45 million from local SMEs, and was named the Entity with the Highest Number of Initiatives Supporting the Government Procurement Programme.
The Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme awarded contracts worth more than AED316.5 million, opening up new prospects for contracting SMEs through construction and engineering consultancy contracts.