Dubai – MENA Herald: Emirates Islamic, one of the leading Islamic financial institutions in the UAE, today announced that it has signed a strategic MoU with Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, to support the growth of SMEs in the UAE.

Under this agreement, Emirates Islamic will act as a preferred finance partner to SMEs registered under Dubai SME, enabling young Emarati entrepreneurs to access financing at special terms from the bank.

Dubai SME was set up to foster the development of entrepreneurs, encourage and support UAE nationals to actively participate in the economic growth of Dubai, and facilitate the establishment of small & medium enterprises.

“At Dubai SME our focus is on launching varied initiatives and creating a comprehensive partner network to provide SMEs and entrepreneurs with the support required to launch and expand within and beyond the country. Having Emirates Islamic as a partner adds significant value to our efforts to enable SME access to cutting edge financial products and services,” said Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.

Commenting on the MoU, Jamal Bin Ghalaita, CEO of Emirates Islamic said, “As per the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, we are committed to support UAE national entrepreneurs, especially in the SME sector. Our partnership with Dubai SME enables us to support the business ideas of Emirati entrepreneurs, helping them to set up or grow their business by providing customised banking solutions to match their specific business needs.

“SMEs form the backbone of the UAE economy and will play a key role in the growth of the nation. Our SME business has been our fastest growing segment in the last three years and through our partnership with Dubai SME, we aim to continue to contribute to this vital sector.”

Reports show that SME contribution to the GDP of UAE is nearly 60 per cent and in Dubai, SMEs represent 95 per cent of all firms and account for 42 per cent of the workforce.