Dubai unveils AED 500m initiative to propel SMEs into global markets

Dubai businesses are set to benefit from a new funding scheme as Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, launches the "Dubai International Growth Initiative."

With an allocation of AED500 million ($136.1 million), the initiative aims to accelerate the expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Dubai into global markets. In collaboration with the Emirates National Bank of Dubai (Emirates NBD), the Government of Dubai spearheads this effort.

Sheikh Hamdan emphasized Dubai's pivotal role in the global economy and its standing as a prominent international hub for business and trade. Aligned with the vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the initiative supports the global expansion of SMEs in Dubai. SMEs contribute significantly to the emirate's economy, representing 95% of registered businesses. The commitment to supporting entrepreneurs, investors, and SMEs reflects Dubai's business-friendly environment, attracting both local and global investments.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Finance, expressed his strategic commitment to Dubai's future economic development through initiatives like the Dubai International Growth Initiative. Focused on empowering businesses, the initiative aligns with the government's D33 Agenda, prioritizing the sustainable global expansion of SMEs that play a vital role in the emirate, employing over 60% of the workforce.

Any small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) based in Dubai is welcome to apply; the program's stated goal is to facilitate global expansion for all participating enterprises. It will zero in on the emirate's most important strategic areas. In February, Emirates NBD will disclose more details regarding the funding package.

Financing will be made available to qualified businesses by the bank at rates that are competitive and in line with Emirates' Interbank Offered Rate (EIBOR) without any extra margin. The project will be guided, selected, and executed by a combined steering committee of the Dubai government and Emirates NBD members. This committee will also be responsible for making sure the initiative achieves the emirate's strategic goals.

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