Government and corporate spending with SMEs in Dubai reached AED972.9m ($264.9m) during 2019.
The figure was announced by Dubai SME, a government agency to develop SMEs, which said 48% of the contract value came from local government entities, 35% from semi-governmental entities, 11% from private sector entities, and 6% from federal government entities.
Dubai SME said the spend reflected its efforts to promote small businesses and the work of the Government Procurement Programme (GPP).
GPP requires that government agencies, institutions, and companies in which the government owns 25% or more in equity should allocate 10% of their purchases to Emirati companies that are Dubai SME members.
A total of 63 governmental, semi-governmental, and private entities purchased from Dubai SME members in 2019. The breakdown of purchases by sector was commercial (50%), professional (46%), industrial (3%), and tourism (1%).
Abdul Basit Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said: “We are constantly striving to implement the Dubai Government strategy that aims to increase the percentage of SME contribution to the non-oil GDP, support the SME sector, enhance its growth and competitiveness, and contribute to raising the ease of doing business in the country.”
In 2019 the government bodies that spent most on SME contracts in accordance with GPP were the Roads and Transport Authority (around AED114m or $31m), Dubai Municipality (AED96.2m or $26.1m), Union Coop (AED85.8m or $23.8m), Emirates Flight Catering (AED83.9m or $22.8m), and Emirates Group (AED72.8m or $19.8).
District 2020, the legacy organisation of Expo 2020 Dubai, has signed a strategic partnership with Dubai SME and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) that should lead to it partnering with more SMEs.
“Both organisations will provide District 2020 with a pipeline of high-potential start-ups and small businesses,” said Dubai SME.
Marjan Faraidooni, chief pavilions and exhibitions officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “These milestone agreements with Dubai SME and MBRIF will further bolster the continued growth of the UAE’s start-up ecosystem and contribute to a stronger and resurgent economic environment.”
Expo 2020 will now run from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 after being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
District 2020 will repurpose more than 80% of Expo’s infrastructure to ensure it is used after the main event has ended.
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