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Sheikh Mohammed launches SME Classification System

By Wam

Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Tuesday launched the SME Classification System.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai attended the launch event at the headquarters of Dubai Executive Council, Emirates Towers.

Sheikh Mohammed affirmed that the UAE will consolidate its global position by launching new initiatives and implementing strategies to support the business community. His Highness said the UAE is keen to encourage Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, as they are important pillar of the national economy and key to enhancing Dubai’s competitiveness.

Sheikh Mohammed explained that economic diversity is a cornerstone for building a strong economic base for the UAE's post-oil phase. He further noted that the new system will raise the contribution of SMEs to Dubai’s GDP, a step that will advance its transformation into an innovation-driven knowledge-based economy.

Sheikh Mohammed urged emerging entrepreneurs to diversify their methods and adopt innovative projects and ideas to enhance their global competitiveness, stressing that he will continue to support them.

His Highness also expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the strategic partners of the initiative to develop plans and initiatives to serve SMEs and called on the banking sector to support the new classification system, highlighting the importance of building an environment that is both supportive and conducive to innovation.

Present at the launch ceremony were Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group; Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Chairman of the Executive Office of Dubai Government and a number of government officials.

SMEs are expected to contribute a massive Dh65 billion to the Dubai economy and will account for 370,000 jobs by 2021.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council said that the new classification system will improve the role played by SMEs in Dubai’s growth by creating jobs and enhancing innovation, and contribute to the achievement of the objectives of Dubai Plan 2021, which focuses on further developing Dubai into one of the world’s most preferred economic destinations. Sheikh Hamdan also said that the UAE government is committed to supporting SMEs by building a supportive environment.

The new classification system, a first-of-its-kind in the region, is based on a number of criteria including finance, governance, innovation and social responsibility, initiatives that are part of Dubai Plan 2021.

The system is being implemented in collaboration with the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai and the Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises.

The new classification system is part of the ‘Dubai SME 100’ a ranking system for Dubai's 100 top performing SMEs launched by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development, Dubai SME, in 2011.

The new classification system is optional for enterprises wishing to be qualified for receiving a bundle of programmes and benefits that will support their growth and sustainability. Establishments wishing to participate should register through the website of the initiative as well as pay the required fee to obtain the electronic classification and undergo the final evaluation.

The classification is based on five set of factors: operational and financial, smart innovation, governance, foreign expansion plans and social responsibility. The evaluation for the classification will take a total of five working days.

The strategic partners of the new initiative include Dubai Municipality, the Roads and Transport Authority, RTA, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.