Dubai: nurturing the next generation of smes

SMEs in Dubai: The Small and Medium Enterprises Future

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of economic growth and innovation. They are responsible for diversification, and employment while playing a vital role in developing local communities.


IFZA Official

Did you know, that in Dubai alone they make up 95% of all businesses? That’s right. SMEs produce 42% of the emirate’s employment opportunities and contribute an enormous 40% of the GDP. Economic experts believe the percentage of SME contribution will continue to soar, reflecting the commitment to elevate the entrepreneurship sector while also extending support to enhance growth.

Government’s Effort Towards SME Development

The government of Dubai recognizes the importance of SMEs and has implemented several initiatives to support their growth and development.

Launch of Dubai Next

In 2021, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai launched ‘Dubai Next’, a government-backed digital crowdfunding platform for entrepreneurs and start-ups. This aimed to propel ambitious innovators from diverse nationalities to secure support and incentives to launch their projects in Dubai.

Dubai Economic Agenda (D33)

The government also introduced the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33), a comprehensive strategy aimed to double the size of Dubai’s economy and consolidate its position among the top three global cities. The prime focus is on key areas such as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), innovation, and investment. Among the 10 transformational projects for this decade, the government aims to develop a Small and Medium Enterprises scale-up program by identifying 400 high-potential companies, supporting their capacity building, and supporting them to grow globally.

The D33 also set the following objectives:

  • to increase foreign trade from AED 14.2 trillion in the past decade to AED 25.6 trillion for goods and services in the next decade
  • to increase foreign direct investment from an average of AED 32 billion in the past decade to an average of AED 60 billion annually in the next decade to reach a total of AED 650 billion by 2033
  • to increase government expenditures from AED 512 billion in the past decade to AED 700 billion in the next decade
  • to increase private sector investments from AED 790 billion in the past decade to AED 1 trillion in the next decade
  • to increase the value of domestic demand for goods and services from AED 2.2 trillion in the past decade to AED 3 trillion in the next decade
  • to generate an annual contribution of AED 100 billion from digital transformation projects to Dubai’s economy.

Its aim is not just to increase the number of SMEs, but also to nurture these businesses to build success stories. This further reinforces the fundamental role of SMEs in economic development, maintaining UAE’s position as a model for youth empowerment.

Creation of Free Zones

One of the most successful drivers of Dubai’s transformation is the creation of Free Zones. These Free Zones help promote UAE’s expanded economic growth and are integral to the country’s diversification strategy. Each Free Zone focuses on a different theme or industry cluster allowing businesses to find an area that offers the right support and infrastructure that caters to their unique business requirements.

Choose Dubai’s Most Dynamic Free Zone Community

IFZA Dubai is the most dynamic and truly international Free Zone Community in the UAE, optimizing the country’s strategic location and world-class infrastructure. It differentiates itself through its multi-national approach providing personalized business establishment solutions through its network of Professional Partners. IFZA provides fast and efficient company establishment and access to global markets.

Businesses incorporated at IFZA can enjoy the following benefits:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • Tax-free import and export of goods in and out of the Free Zone
  • 100% tax exemption (except 5% VAT)
  • Incorporation of FZCOs or the registration of branch offices
  • No paid-up share capital required
  • All processes can be executed remotely (except medical test and Emirates ID biometrics)
  • Support beyond company formation through the IFZA ecosystem

Walking in line with the vision of the Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, IFZA exists to bridge international investors to Dubai and to contribute to its economic prosperity by offering world-class benefits that would serve the local and global community.

Dubai has opened the doors of opportunities to international businesses, if you want to be a part this movement, contact a member of the global network of IFZA Professional Partners today. With thousands of business activities to choose from, IFZA offers the flexibility to build your business the way you want it. Our international network of Professional Partners ensures easy navigation at every step of your IFZA License application.


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