Text by Sankar Sri Pillai
In the first-ever initiative of its kind in the country, telecom major Etisalat is hosting the SMB Festival aimed at entrepreneurs and the nation's small and medium business community.
So what then is in store at the SMB Festival? Evidently, a lot.
The SMB Festival sees Etisalat and its 12 business partners that include DMCC, Virtuzone, National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah, Oman Insurance Company, CBRE, ABC Herman Miller, Skylines Tax Consultancy, Sharaf DG, Amer, The Ambassador, Leaders Consulting and Etisalat Online Marketing, providing exclusive offers during the duration of the festival.
Here’s what to look out for:
50GB free data
While the telecom major leads the charge, offering up to 50GB free data for a month to both new and existing mobile customers, similar amazing deals and discounts are also up for grabs courtesy of Etisalat's business partners.
Save Dh9,000 on trade licence
Setting up business can be an expensive proposition for start-ups but DMCC makes it all so easy. The Etisalat business partner allows businesses to save up to Dh9,000 on trade licences and up to Dh3,000 on essential business tools, Virtuzone is waiving up to 25 per cent of its professional fees.
Zero balance bank account
Banking and insurance majors RAKBANK and Oman Insurance Company are in the mix as well. RAKBANK is allowing prospective customers to open a business banking account with no minimum balance during the duration of the festival.
Get up to 50GB of free data from Etisalat during the duration of the SMB Festival
10% insurance discount
Oman Insurance Company offers a 10 per cent discount on individual motor insurance as well as two movie tickets per comprehensive motor policy.
Free overseas visa applications
Strategy consulting firm Leaders Consulting offers a similar bouquet on its services, including free visa application worth Dh300 to the US, UK and Schengen countries, 50 per cent off on trademark and copyright application, as well as free consultation for trademark and copyright.
Attractive immigration packages
While on the subject of visas, here's more good news, courtesy of the SMB Festival for those planning to bring dependents to Dubai. Avail of Amer (General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs) Dubai's SMB Festival offer and get a complete wife/dependent visa with Dubai entry permit, EID and more for as low as Dh2,555.
10% savings on office rents
Things couldn’t be more exciting for those deciding to set up shop in the UAE. For one, commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE is allowing prospective customers to save up to 10 per cent on the annual office rental expenses for the first year.
Avail of attractive immigration packages from Amer courtesy of the SMB Festival
Free office planning
Once you have decided on the location of your business, designing and planning office layouts is the next step. Furniture brand ABC Herman Miller is offering free office space planning and design during the duration of the SMB Festival. A 5 per cent discount on the brand's coveted Herman Miller Aeron Chair is the icing on the cake.
Electronics major Sharaf DG also enters the fray with an entire portfolio of offers lined up for the SMB Festival with free installation on select security CCTV and server items, and free extended warranty for one extra year on any hardware purchase. Online privilege platform The Ambassador is also offering savings of up to 40 per cent from top B2B suppliers, as well as free sign-up for all Etisalat SMB customers.
There is good news on the VAT front, as well with VAT Skylines Consultancy offering a point-of-sale device worth Dh4,000 free of charge.
The UAE SME sector plays a critical role in the nation's economy with more than 94 per cent of the companies operating in the country representing the sector, while providing more than 86 per cent of the private sector's workforce, according to the UAE Ministry of Economy.
Esma Mahmoud, Senior Vice-President, Etisalat SMB, says, "Etisalat is always working closely with SMBs to understand their business needs, required to meet their long-term organisational objectives.
"We are excited to announce the SMB Festival, a first-time concept that aims to give businesses exclusive benefits and a boost to the SMB sector."
The Etisalat SMB Festival started on May 6 and continues until May 13. For more information on the event visit www.etisalat.ae/smbfestival