20220302 Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Since 2002, GPP has so far succeeded in facilitating contracts worth over Dh8.4b for Dubai SME members. Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

Dubai: Emirati entrepreneurs and national enterprises in Dubai won contracts worth Dh921.6 million from various local and federal government entities, semi-government bodies and private businesses in 2021 as part of the Government Procurement Programme (GPP).

In value terms, GPP contracts won last year were around 3 per cent higher than the Dh896.7 million achieved in 2020, according to a report by Dubai SME, a Department of Economy and Tourism agency.

The report also showed that since 2002, GPP has so far succeeded in facilitating contracts worth over Dh8.4 billion for Dubai SME members from 69 supporting entities across the government, semi-government and private sectors.

“The success of the GPP is testament to the high priority that the Dubai government places on supporting start-ups. The programme has provided exceptional opportunities for local entrepreneurs to demonstrate their success in turning innovative ideas into commercially viable projects in a range of sectors,” said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council.

Local push

The GPP was implemented in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, requiring government entities and establishments in which the government holds 25 per cent or more equity to allocate 10 per cent of their purchasing to Emirati companies that are members of Dubai SME.

Since 2002, GPP has secured over 16,934 procurement contracts for 362 Emirati companies in varied sectors. The commercial sector accounted for 83 per cent of the contracts, while 13 per cent were awarded to companies in the professional sector and 4 per cent to industrial firms.

The Crown Prince hailed the role Dubai SME has played in promoting entrepreneurship and startup growth over the last 20 years. “From a pioneering entrepreneurship development programme in 2002, Dubai SME has evolved into a comprehensive ecosystem capable of supporting Dubai’s emergence as a centre for entrepreneurial innovation in technologies and industries of the future,” he said.

Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of the Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai, said the achievement reflected the confidence of the government and the private sector in the competencies of the local SME sector and its role in building a competitive and diversified economy.

“The GPP is a critical SME support programme. Small and medium enterprises are among the most important drivers of economic and social development in any country as they have a major role in advancing human and material resources. In fact, many of the big firms we see around the world today started off as a small idea or project.”

Top supporters

Expo 2020 Dubai topped the list of local government support agencies of GPP last year with contracts worth Dh161.7 million, followed by the Roads and Transport Authority (Dh95.2 million), Dubai Municipality (Dh44.2 million), Dubai Health Authority (Dh36.5 million), and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dh24.5 million).

Federal government entities extended support worth Dh84.7 million to GPP last year and the Emirates Health Services Establishment led among them with purchases and contracts of Dh35.6 million. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Dh33.4 million), Ministry of Education (Dh9.8 million), Ministry of Community Development (Dh3.4 million), and the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (Dh2.4 million) were also among the leading contributors.

The net value of support from semi-governmental entities to GPP was Dh204.9 million in 2021. The Emirates Flight Catering Group made purchases and contracts worth Dh52 million, Wasl Real Estate (Dh33.5 million), Emirates Group (Dh29.2 million), Dubai Holding (Dh27.1 million) and du (Dh26 million) also contributed substantially.

Union Co-op was the top contributor from the private sector (Dh169.9 million in total) with contracts worth Dh121.5 million, and was followed by Majid Al Futtaim Hypermarkets (Dh18.3 million), Emaar (Dh16.4 million), Etihad Airways (Djh12.9 million), and Ajman Free Zone (over Dh547,000).