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Dubai SME And Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Signs Partnership On Privileges For ’Dubai SME 100’ Companies
(1 August 2011)


Dubai SME, an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED)-Government of Dubai, entrusted with the development of the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has signed a partnership agreement with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank to offer benefits to the top 100 SMEs in Dubai.

Under the MoU, ADCB will commit to develop a special SME100 package that covers reduced interest rates, funded credit facilities at ADCB’s base rate, priority transaction processing, reduced fees and charges on export transactions, flexible repayment options, access to a complete suite of SME products such as overdrafts, Short Term Loans, Invoice and PDC Discounting, Letters of Credit & Trust Receipt, Loan against Import, Letters of Guarantee, Commercial Vehicle Loan, Construction Equipment Loan, Online Trade Finance platform (Protrade) and Online Fx platform (Fx Freeway).

H.E. Abdul Baset, Chief Executive of Dubai SME, thanked ADCB for its commitment and kind support of this critical initiative to champion the SME sector.

Commenting on the agreement, he said: “This partnership with ADCB only marks the beginning of our SME development journey together, a journey which I’m confident will prove to be of great value to the SME sector. As the Dubai SME100 initiative grows in strength, we expect to see an increase in valued partners, such as ADCB, coming on board, which will only serve to greatly benefit the further positive development of our SMEs.

“The support from partners like ADCB is not just about enhancing all manner of financial assistance but non-financial aspects as well, most notably in the development of financial management capabilities. The UAE’s top SMEs are showing signs of fast growth and we need partners like ADCB to boost our efforts to continue to fuel further growth in the SME sector.”

Howard Gaunt, Head of Business Banking Group, ADCB said: “We are very pleased to be part of this partnership with Dubai SME and are greatly looking forward to being able to provide our tailored packages to best help Dubai SME continue to facilitate positive growth within the UAE’s SME market. ADCB places great significance on helping to educate and support SMEs across the UAE, as we firmly believe them to be the backbone of any economy. The SME segment continues to be an area of strategic growth for ADCB and one that we hope to further help develop in the UAE.”

In line with the strategy to groom promising SMEs, the Dubai SME 100 ranking will act as a platform, and catalyst, to better identify promising SMEs – facilitating their development into bigger, better and more sustainable enterprises; eventually graduating them to large globally-oriented companies. At its core, the ranking is aimed at:
• Celebrating Dubai’s top performing SMEs
• Creating greater awareness of the importance of SME development
• Creating a national motivational psyche in the nation’s social and business community
• Encouraging SME role models to share their best practices in management
• Marketing the capabilities of Dubai’s SME’s to regional and global investors
• Providing opportunities for SMEs to raise capital
• Creating a base of SMEs for a potential secondary listing of SMEs (IPO) that can attract equity capital for growth
• Providing development path for SMEs to graduate
• Creating a culture of transparency, corporate governance and best practice sharing.

Unlike other rankings which are based mainly or purely on financial indicators, the Dubai SME 100 ranking places a balanced emphasis on financial and non-financial dimensions of enterprise performance and development. The non-financial dimensions cover Innovation, International Orientation, Human Capital Development and Corporate Excellence. The ranking will also serve as a tool for helping SMEs identify capability gaps for improvement.

The ultimate outcome is for Dubai to have more growth-oriented, innovative, capable and sustainable enterprises that can fly the UAE flag high.

The basic criterion is that the applicant must be an SME based on the official definition of Dubai’s SMEs, with up to 250 employees and a turnover of up to AED250 million. In addition, it must have audited financial statements for at least three years, and be an independent entity registered in Dubai (under DED or any Free Zone).

Over 830 eligible SMEs have been nominated by banks, business councils and Free Zones to participate in the initiative, with more applications coming in. The first ever Dubai SME100 ranking list will be out in late October 2011.

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