Sheikh Hamdan at Hatta
Since 2002, Dubai SME has supported 10,803 member SMEs with incentives and relief measures worth over Dh995 million Image Credit: Twitter/@HamdanMohammed

Dubai: Emirati members of Dubai SME, who had received a five-year exemption from paying licence fees, will now enjoy the benefit for seven years, it was announced on Sunday.

The decision, under the directives of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, is part of a series of initiatives aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and their startups to fully tide over the challenges brought by the global outbreak of COVID-19 and focus on their growth without cash flow concerns.

The extension of fee exemption only applies to registered members of Dubai SME who have not completed their five-year period; new members are not eligible for the extension.

The licensing fee applicable on SMEs is Dh1,000 for the first three years from the issuance of the licence, and Dh2,000 for the fourth and fifth years.

“Creating an exceptionally competitive and flexible landscape for SMEs is an integral element of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to raise the city’s status as a global hub for entrepreneurial innovation, while also consolidating our rich entrepreneurial traditions into a catalyst for economic diversification and sustainable economic growth,” Sheikh Hamdan said.


contribution of SMEs towards Dubai's GDP

Abdulrahman Al Saleh, Director General of the Department of Finance, Government of Dubai, said that the extended exemption granted to SMEs will go a long way in revitalising the overall economic movement in Dubai. “In light of our leadership’s directives, Dubai has already announced five stimulus packages worth Dh7.1 billion in the aftermath of COVID-19 and the outcomes have been phenomenal in terms of the emirate resuming full-scale economic activity while also enhancing its business competitiveness and investment attractiveness.”

“Further easing the financial burden on SMEs is no less important as it will support this critical majority of local businesses in avoiding accumulation of financial obligations, and at the same time using their cash reserves to move forward and contributing to Dubai’s strategic growth plans,” Al Saleh said.

“The major factor that set Dubai apart globally in managing the pandemic efficiently was the swift action taken by our strong and decisive leadership and government. As a city aiming to be future-ready and the best place in the world to live, work and visit, strengthening economic resilience and supporting businesses of all sizes to sustain growth will remain a top priority for Dubai,” stated Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Economy & Tourism.

The Department of Finance, in coordination with the General Secretariat of the Executive Council and Dubai SME, has launched a series initiatives for small- and medium-sized companies since 2018, which included allocating 20 per cent of government purchases for Dubai SME members and special dealings with regard to primary and final insurance as well as accelerating payment of corporate dues, in addition to other benefits.

In Dubai, SMEs constitute nearly 95 per cent of all companies, employing 42 per cent of all workforce in the emirate and contributing to around 40 per cent of Dubai’s GDP.

Since 2002, Dubai SME has supported 10,803 member SMEs with incentives and relief measures worth over Dh995 million.