Dubai Chamber extension 2
Dubai Chamber. Over 16,000 new member companies joined Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2020. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Over 16,000 new member companies joined Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2020.

In 2020, Dubai Chamber saw the return on its investment in digital transformation over the years. The Chamber was digitally prepared as it made 98 per cent of its core services available online, which enabled it to serve its members and customers remotely and efficiently.

The Chamber’s performance figures, key achievements and activities in 2020 are highlighted in a brand new interactive and dynamic annual report.

Digital transformation

During the early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Chamber launched the #BeSafeWorkSmart campaign as it encouraged companies to implement preventive measures enforced by the government and offered valuable guidance on the transition to remote working.

The Chamber processed more than 659,000 e-transactions during the year, with more than 78 per cent of the customers having to wait less than 5 minutes to be served. In March 2020, it launched an electronic attestation service and the authentication of signatures on documents. This seamless digital transformation was reflective of the Chamber’s ability to quickly adapt to global changes due to its technological preparedness.

Joining forces with Google, Dubai Chamber unveiled plans to get 50,000 local businesses online by listing them on Google my Business and training them in digital marketing. This initiative has helped 100,000 businesses across the UAE get verified over the last two years.

A separate partnership with Amazon was established to help Dubai Chamber member companies expand their digital presence, capitalise on new business opportunities and learn about the benefits of selling online.

Business support

The value of exports and re-exports of Dubai Chamber members amounted to Dh185 billion and a total of 632,436 certificates of origin were issued by the organisation last year. Meanwhile, 2,914 ATA Carnets worth 3.3 billion dirhams were issued and received by the Chamber. The ATA Carnet system is managed by Dubai Chamber in cooperation with Dubai Customs, facilitating the temporary entry of imports to Dubai.

In line with its role as the voice of the business community, Dubai Chamber reviewed 62 draft local and federal laws and ministerial decisions during the year 2020, with the aim of ensuring a favourable business environment.

The organisation’s Legal Services department received 334 mediation cases, 148 of which were settled amicably, while the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), an initiative of Dubai Chamber, received 230 arbitration cases in 2020.

“Dubai Chamber remains fully committed to supporting businesses in Dubai as they adapt to a new reality and providing access to new growth opportunities at home and abroad,” said Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber.

Covid-related challenges

Webinars and virtual events organised by Dubai Chamber throughout the year tackled a wide range of timely issues impacting businesses, such as banking and funding, legal implications of Covid-19 on business, new measures to ensure employee health and safety, sustainability best practices.

A prime example of Dubai Chamber’s proactive approach to using innovation to curb the spread of COVID-19, help businesses drive growth is the Rapid Response Initiative – a new online marketplace for registration for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), which saw a 340% surge in registration after its launch.

During this period, the Chamber created new channels for constructive and open dialogue between public and private sector stakeholders. These platforms provided an opportunity for businesses to share their concerns and policy recommendations. Such efforts supported the Chamber’s position of being the voice of the private sector and advocating on its behalf with the aim of ensuring a favourable business environment in Dubai.

Expanding startup support

Through its entrepreneurship arm Dubai Startup Hub (DSH), Dubai Chamber ensured that SMEs and entrepreneurs received all of the guidance and support needed to navigate through new challenges and capitalise on new opportunities. A total of 2,166 entrepreneurs benefited from Dubai Startup Hub programs in 2020, 19% of which were Emiratis. By going fully digital, Dubai Startup Hub increased value of services to the startup community and hosted 48 webinars and virtual events during the year.