The programme encourages the growth of the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector through supporting retirees establish new ventures. Image used for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: A new initiative by government entities offers Emirati retirees in Dubai benefits and incentives, including priority in being assigned to government projects, financing of their future projects, exemption from service fees for five years, and consultation support for their projects to ensure optimal returns.

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The move comes as part of the Dubai Social Agenda 33, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, under the theme ‘Family: The Foundation of Our Nation’.

The Dubai Police General Command and Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism – represented by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises (Dubai SME) - has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the launch of the “‘Dubai Retiree Projects Support’ programme.

The MoU was signed recently by Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police and Member of the Higher Committee for Development and Citizens Affairs in Dubai, and Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director-General of the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism.

Operating under the umbrella of the Higher Committee for Development and Citizens Affairs, the programme aims to support projects launched by retirees through the Mohammed bin Rashid Fund for SME, in line with Dubai Social Agenda 33’s objective of turning Dubai into a hub for SMEs.

Who are the beneficiaries?

The Dubai Retiree Project Support programme targets two groups of Dubai citizens; existing retirees and employees approaching retirement. It aims to utilise the expertise of these two groups to support Dubai’s development, helping them to contribute to the emirate’s ongoing achievements.

In addition to launching a council for retirees to facilitate communications with them, the programme will offer additional job opportunities for retirees and those approaching retirement. This is aimed at providing them an additional source of income to enhance their financial stability, while benefiting from their capabilities and expertise through their engagement in SMEs.

Other services delivered through the programme include consultations to help beneficiaries plan for the next phase of their lives, ensuring a happier retirement and a continuation of their positive role in society. The programme also offers support for retirees and employees approaching retirement in collaboration with Dubai-based private sector companies.

In order to facilitate business processes and alleviate the financial burden of retirees, the programme exempts them from service fees for a period of five years. This encourages them to raise their competitiveness in the SME sector, a key pillar of national economy and a major driver of the transformation towards a knowledge economy.

How it works

Retired Dubai citizens, and employees approaching retirement, can benefit from the services offered as part of the Dubai Retiree Projects Support programme by applying through Dubai SME. In addition to supporting their small and medium-sized businesses, the programme gives them priority in undertaking government projects and bids in coordination with relevant entities.

The Dubai Police General Command is launching a database that is regularly updated, to monitor the expertise and specialised skill of retirees and employees approaching retirement. This facilitates services that match their lines of experience and prepares them for entering the market through Dubai SME.

Lt Gen Al Marri said: “The Dubai Retiree Projects Support programme translates the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and Chairman of the Higher Committee for Development and Citizens Affairs, to dedicate all available resources to improve the quality of life of our citizens. It also aligns with the goals of the Dubai Social Agenda 33 to enhance their well-being and family stability.”

Helal Al Marri said: “Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism is keen to support SMEs, recognising their leading role in establishing Dubai as a global hub for business, tourism, entrepreneurship and the digital economy. SMEs represent a crucial driver of comprehensive and sustainable development. Encouraging retirees to engage in the field of entrepreneurship will help us utilise their long years of experience to support economic sustainability and social stability.”

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said: “Dubai SME offers a host of incentives and benefits to retirees wishing to launch their own projects in Dubai. These include financing, training, facilitating processes and technical consultation. The programme inspires retirees and those approaching retirement to take the lead and put their capabilities and expertise to work. It makes them partners in Dubai development projects and initiatives to support social sustainability.”