Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, in its continued quest to harness a robust and competitive business environment, has now commenced with the evaluation of applications for both the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award and the newly launched 1st edition of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Innovation Award.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award, member of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, was initiated in 2005 to recognise and celebrate the success of organisations that contribute to the sustainable economic development of the UAE and the greater GCC region. The award program, which advocates the

improvement of business strategies, processes and overall performance, has been the fundamental structure of Dubai Chamber’s quest to foster excellence within its business community and that of the GCC.

The Business Innovation Award, a sub-award under the holistic umbrella of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award, was recently launched in November 2015 in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy within the framework of the UAE’s Year of Innovation. As part of the UAE Vision 2021 to move towards a more innovation-driven knowledge economy, the award’s objective is to encourage a culture of creativity and innovation in the business community and is the first of its kind in the region.

“Innovation is essential in shifting productivity and output upwards and is a unique capability to sustain a firm’s foothold in the market and regional competitiveness worldwide. Innovative ideas today result in success tomorrow, which is why we determined that this concept should be recognized through a separate award,” said H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber.

Run simultaneously alongside the Business Award, the Business Innovation Award recognizes organizations which have driven innovation to the next level. Its evaluation process is aligned with the

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Performance Program, and is carried out by an international team of assessors, who conduct a thorough desk and onsite assessment to produce an in-depth feedback report. The report tracks the organization’s innovation dynamics and capabilities, and highlights the respective strengths and areas for improvement, in compliance with the requirements laid down in the innovation processes and results criteria of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Excellence Model.

During the pre-application phase, interest in the 9th cycle of the Business Award continued to grow, with submissions extended to the GCC for the second year in a row along with much enthusiasm over the launch of the 1st edition of the Business Innovation Award. Both awards have witnessed an influx of applications and a very positive response from the UAE and GCC business community, with a substantial 52% increase in applications for the Business Award vis-à-vis the previous cycle. The awards are the region’s highest level of recognition in business excellence and business innovation.

“The significant increase in applications from the previous cycle is a testament to the growing incorporation of sustainable and innovative best practices in organisations across the GCC region. As we look towards the future, companies are seeing that continuous improvement and innovation are essential proponents of success in

this ever-changing and dynamic landscape. The importance of excelling in key areas such as leadership, strategy, innovation, CSR, customer service and workforce, which are a few central tenets of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award Model, have proven time and time again to positively impact an organisation’s performance and provide them with the necessary competitive edge,” said H.E. Buamim.

During the robust assessment phase currently underway, applicants will undergo a rigorous evaluation of their organisations, led by a team of two seasoned assessors. The assessment is divided into two phases; in the first phase, known as the desk assessment, assessors evaluate participants’ applications. In the second phase, the site visit assessment, the assessors conduct site visits in order to ascertain the accuracy and authenticity of the participants’ practices as presented in their applications.

Following the assessment phase, outperforming organisations that have proven to have a sustainable performance system in place ensuring progressive development are shortlisted as award winners by the award panel of judges, and recognized in one of the most prestigious award ceremonies in the region held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

The award ceremony details will be announced in the coming months.