DUBAI, 1st November, 2023 (WAM) — The first day sessions of the Dubai Business Forum, a transformative global event powered by Dubai Chambers, highlighted the key role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in accelerating economic growth, as well as Dubai’s growing appeal in attracting foreign direct investments.
Addressing a panel discussion, Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation, and Shamsa Al Falasi, CEO of Citibank, highlighted the vital contribution of small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) as the main drivers of Dubai’s economy.
“Agility and the speed of innovation are the driving force of the UAE’s success,” said Belhoul. “The pace of innovation is changing by the minute, and Dubai keeps up with it – in turn, benefiting the business community. Today, new startups are matching the pace of innovation to drive the economy.”
Belhoul stated, “The business and SME sectors in the UAE grow exponentially because His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, thinks like an entrepreneur.”
Shamsa Al Falasi highlighted Citibank’s strong emphasis on promoting SMEs operating across diverse sectors, stating, “Every day, there are numerous opportunities emerging in Dubai because it is a talent hub. With COP28 less than a month way, we see accelerators focused on sustainability.”
“SMEs require a lot of skill building, and it takes effort to build up the ecosystem. Further, with high internet penetration, it is easier to digitise startups and small businesses. The beauty of the UAE is its diversity, with almost 90% of the population being expatriates,” she added.
Hosted under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai Business Forum brings together key stakeholders from the government and private sectors across the globe to explore strategic economic partnerships, develop international networks, and open new horizons for business, trade, and investments.