Members of Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector, have gained procurement contracts worth AED 7.5 billion since the launch of the Government Procurement Program (GPP) in 2002.
In 2020 alone, Dubai SME supported its members with contracts worth AED 896 million from 61 local and federal government entities and other establishments in the emirate.
The contracts, facilitated as part of the GPP, had a major role in enhancing Dubai’s start-ups and SMEs competitiveness and sustaining growth despite COVID-19. Members of the GPP are exempt from membership fees in the smart portal of government procurement.
The procurement contracts underline the importance of GPP in enabling entrepreneurs to play their part in the national economy, as well as the role of Dubai SME in promoting collaboration between the various entities supporting the SME sector and economic development in Dubai.
Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of Dubai Economy, commented: "The Government Procurement Program reflects the continuity and firm commitment from the public and private sectors in the country to supporting SMEs. Despite Covid-19, a total of 61 governmental, semi-governmental, and private entities cooperated with Dubai SME members in 2020.”
"Simultaneously, the Program has become a benchmark for the diversity and competitiveness of Dubai SME members. We are grateful to the leadership for their foresight and we look forward to SMEs emerging as a strategic component of sustainable and innovation-driven economic growth in Dubai, and the UAE."
Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, added that Dubai SME supports Dubai’s strategy designated to increase the share of SMEs in the city’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). "SMEs constitute 99% of the businesses in Dubai and GPP has contributed to enhancing confidence in their capabilities and potential. Since its inception in 2002, the Government Procurement Program has continued to empower entrepreneurs and the local start-up community."
According to Al Janahi, 47% of contracts won under GPP in 2020 were from Dubai Government entities while 22% came from semi-governmental entities, 21% from the private sector, and 10% from federal government entities. The commercial sector accounted for 83% of the purchases, while 12% came from the professional sector, 4% from the industrial sector, and 1% from the tourism sector.
The leadership in the UAE has continued to emphasize the importance of supporting national projects to advance economic development in the post-COVID phase, added Al Janahi. "All government agencies have been directed to extend stronger support and collaborate in implementing the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister & Vice-President of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, towards achieving the GPP goals set in 2002."
Al Janahi also called for improved co-ordination and response from government agencies and institutions that have yet to achieve the SME procurement target percentage. He also highlighted the importance of giving priority to tenders submitted by Emirati entrepreneurs and projects in line with the directives of the leadership to ensure the best service and highest level of support for citizens.