Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, has lauded the strategic initiatives that contribute to the ease of doing business in the different economic activities and create an investment environment that serves Dubai’s competitiveness.
Sheikh Hamdan’s comment was made in the context of Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, launching ‘The Entrepreneur Plan,’ a joint initiative with du and Microsoft Gulf, to enable businesses to start their operations with speed and ease within a second of having their trade licence issued or renewed by DED.
Designed in line with the directives of Sheikh Hamdan to enhance Dubai’s reputation as a global business hub through public-private sector partnerships, du developed ‘The Entrepreneur Plan’, which enables DED customers and SMEs to avail of a full ICT (information and communication technology) package, including mobile services, smart phone and hosted services at affordable cost while obtaining a trade license or renewing an existing one.
Present at the ceremony on Tuesday in Dubai was Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of Dubai Economic Department, Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai SME, Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer, du, Farid Faraidooni, Chief Commercial Officer, du, and Samer Abu-Ltaif, Regional General Manager Microsoft Gulf.
“Dubai is witnessing a high level of business licensing activity due to the government’s policy focus and infrastructure development, well-aligned to business and investment. The private sector is not just a beneficiary but also a primary stakeholder in any improvements in Dubai’s business climate and therefore we are keen to engage with them in our economic development initiatives,” remarked Sami Al Qamzi.
“The SME sector is a significant contributor to the UAE’s economy, and we are eager to support its growth through partnerships such as this one, with du and Microsoft Gulf. By improving competitiveness and creating an easier start-up environment, we are empowering SMEs with superior ICT services so that their fledgling businesses have the best chance of flourishing, in today’s time-critical environment,” said Abdul Baset Al Janahi.
“Small and medium enterprises are around 95 per cent of registered businesses in Dubai and contribute over 40 per cent to Dubai’s GDP and accounts for 42 per cent of employment. Dubai SME is implementing strategies and initiatives that motivate innovation and spread an enabling entrepreneurial culture that help enhance the confidence of the business community and add value to SME development in the country,” added Al Janahi.
“We designed The Entrepreneur Plan as a carefully thought-out comprehensive ICT package, and it’s a sterling example of Public Private Partnership. The package offers a combination of mobility and cloud services to an entrepreneur, so that he can start his business in a day’s time at 1/6th of the usual expenses. This is a great step forward for SMEs in UAE in their quest for business success,” stated Osman Sultan, CEO, du.
“Microsoft is committed to supporting entrepreneurship and SME development worldwide and has a legacy of doing so, as is the case in the UAE,” said Samer Abu-Ltaif. “By using cloud based delivery from a local Service Provider, SMEs can easily get access the latest technology from Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and Lync without needing to invest in infrastructure and deployment. Through this partnership with Dubai SME and du, we want to help these young companies succeed and accelerate the growth of the UAE’s SME ecosystem by using Software as a Service,” he continued.
When applying for a new business license, entrepreneurs can subscribe to The Entrepreneur Plan at du’s stand, located in the Department of Economic Development premises. An upfront fee is applicable when applying for the package. It includes a smartphone, mobile SIM, national data package, email IDs, hosted web facility, and registration and hosting of one.ae domain along with a website builder.
Dubai SME is an agency, which aims to foster an entrepreneurial culture and develop a competitive SME sector for the Emirate of Dubai. The key strategies adopted by Dubai SME are: advocate a pro-business environment for developing entrepreneurship and SMEs, seed innovative start-ups and groom promising SMEs. Dubai SME’s vision is to make Dubai the centre for innovative SMEs to start, grow and expand their businesses, thus adding greater value to the economy of Dubai.