Sunday 3, April 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: In efforts to boost Dubai’s global status as a leading creative city, and in line with the Dubai Government’s 2021 Plan, Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) has signed a partnership agreement with Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the growth of small and medium enterprise (SME) in the UAE, to support entrepreneurs and enhance the capabilities of the vital SME sector in the emirate.

Signed by His Excellency Ahmad bin Bayat, Director General of DCCA, and His Excellency Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, the agreement aims to identify a shared mechanism of cooperation, provide entrepreneurs with facilities to grow their business, and encourage more youngsters to set up innovative home-grown projects.

The agreement, which articulates Dubai Government’s efforts to support the SME sector, will exempt members of Dubai SME as well as entrepreneurs that have set up shop in free zones within DCCA’s jurisdiction from licensing fees for five years. In addition, discounts on visa-issuing fees by charging the basic fees only will also be extended to them.

Commenting on the agreement, His Excellency Ahmad bin Bayat said: “In line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, we seek to further boost Dubai’s position by transforming it into a regional and global hub for creative productions and enhancing the emirate’s competitiveness in a way that drives economic growth. DCCA supports and encourages creative business concepts through attracting and licensing specialized companies in the SME sector. Such companies are the foundation of a diverse economy and contribute to promoting creativity as part of Dubai’s innovation strategy.”

He added: “Our agreement with Dubai SME aligns with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler and Chairman of DCCA, which aims to enhance entrepreneurs’ capabilities in creative sectors such as media, ICT, higher education, sciences, design, contracting, and human resources. The new agreement will directly support DCCA’s main goals given its role as an incubator for creativity and innovation and a platform for SME projects. It will also drive the sector and stimulate entrepreneurs to build a knowledge-based economy in the next few years.”

On his part, His Excellency Abdul Baset Al Janahi said: “Signing the agreement with DCCA complements our aspirations to boost entrepreneurship development in Dubai. We commend the authority’s efforts in supporting this vital sector. We consider DCCA a key partner that provides enabling facilities and services to the youth for inspiring them to establish innovative start-up projects.”

“Dubai realises its future is in creating a knowledge-based economy that sustains itself on innovation, and there is no better way to that future than investing in our SMEs, and enhancing the knowledge of people driving these enterprises. The Dubai SME 2021 Strategic Plan focuses on elevating the accumulated resources and capabilities of SMEs through innovative initiatives,” added Al Janahi.

His Excellency Ali Ahmad BuRuhaima, Deputy Director General of DCCA, stressed that the agreement is part of a comprehensive plan implemented by the authority to enhance the SME sector. He pointed out that for over 15 years, the authority has enabled several SME projects and supported hundreds of foreign and multinational corporations to achieve success and growth in an innovative and creative environment. He also noted that DCCA helps enable businesses through advanced legislations and policies.

The Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) is the licensing entity for 4450 local, regional and global corporations, of which the majority are SME companies. Dubai SME comprises numerous projects and initiatives that are led by Emirati youngsters in many vital economic sectors.