Sunday 15, November 2015

Dubai – MENA Herald: His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Foundation and President of the UAE National Olympic Committee, today honoured owners and executives of small and medium businesses in the emirate that made into the Dubai SME100 ranking in its third cycle at a ceremony held at the Madinat Jumeirah.

An initiative launched in 2011 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, by Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, Dubai SME100 identifies the top-performing SMEs in Dubai to help them grow into bigger, internationally-oriented and more sustainable and enterprises, and support them through their growth.

The 2015 ranking saw a substantial rise in SME enrollments and Dubai SME restructured the ranking criteria by adding Corporate Social Responsibility as one of the themes and increasing the weightage for Innovation in classifying the companies.

“Today, Dubai – because of its global reputation as an entrepreneurial hub – is increasingly becoming a launch-pad for SMEs in vital sectors such as health, education, information technology, logistics, tourism, hospitality and others. Many of the enterprises thus launched have also successfully expanded to neighbouring markets in the region. Dubai SME100 continue to inspire many of these emerging companies and their innovations as well as growth,” His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED, said at the ceremony.

Al Qamzi added that the Department of Economic Development, and particularly Dubai SME, maintain a strong focus on SMEs as it’s a vital sector and the backbone of Dubai’s economy.

“Micro enterprises account for 72% of the total business population in Dubai, small enterprises constitute 18% and mid-sized businesses, another five per cent. Mid-sized businesses contribute to about 17% of the total value added to the economy of Dubai, while the respective share of small enterprises is 14% and that of micro-enterprises is about 8%. In the trade sector alone, SMEs account for 47% of the total value added while the respective share in the service sector is 41% and 13% in the manufacturing sector,” said Al Qamzi.

Al Qamzi also referred to the growth the Dubai SME100 achieved within its first two cycles during which 200 SMEs benefitted from the programme. The number of enrollments in the third cycle was 4,532, an increase of 49% compared to 3,041 companies in the second cycle. Together, the companies enrolled in the third cycle represent net revenues of AED69.5 billion a workforce of over 144,000. The service sector represents the lion’s share of registrations in the third session with 57% while 34.5% (1,565) are trading companies and company 8.4% (382) are manufacturing firms.

“The Government of Dubai and the UAE over the past years have focused on supporting and developing small and medium-sized companies to remain key players across all sectors. SMEs in Dubai are major enablers of sustainable economic development, and account for a major share of the net economic output in Dubai, and the UAE in general. The local SME sector contributes to a diversified investment environment and national talent pool while being self-reliant and globally competent, thanks to the strategic thinking of our visionary leadership,” Al Qamzi further said.

Commenting on the progress of Dubai SME100, Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said that 88 companies among the top 100 in 2015 have achieved double-digit revenue growth over the last three years, compared to 81 such companies in the 2013 ranking and 53 in the 2011 cycle. Companies that have achieved over 20% growth in revenues and hence classified as high-growth have a strength of 69 among the top 100 in 2015, an increase of 28% over the 54 such companies in the 2013 ranking, which in itself was a 32% increase from 41 companies in 2011. Net profits of 78 companies in the 2015 list saw double-digit growth in the last three years compared to 71 companies in the 2013 list and 48 in 2011.

“Dubai SME has been evaluating the performance of 42 companies that participated in more than one cycle of the ranking and we saw that 98% of them were able to achieve revenue growth of up to 33% and up to 47% growth in profits in the last three years. Their net sales grew from AED 1.36 billion to AED 2.15 billion, with an increase of 158% , in the same period their profits increased 187%, from of AED 134 million to AED 250 million. In addition, these companies have been able to create new jobs and raised the total workforce from 2,332 employees to 3,601 employees, an increase of 154%,” said Al Janahi.

The third cycle will see the addition of new capability development programmes targeted at people working in the various administrative positions in SMEs, including executives, finance managers, human resource managers, IT managers, and quality managers. The programmes will include advisory services, consultancy and training on financial and business management and on entering new markets.  

Al Janahi said Dubai SME100 will continue to evolve, identifying and promoting promising as well as role model SMEs for the benefit of entrepreneurs and their projects. He called on government and private sectors to join hands with Dubai SME for developing SMEs and leave their impression on the sector.