Major SME expo set to open in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, December 15, 2013
With 25 million visitors set to descend upon Dubai after the Emirate’s successful World Expo 2020 bid, SMEs can look forward to a bright future, experts said as a new event opens tomorrow aimed at boosting small businesses.
Contributing to more than 40 per cent of Dubai’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) according to the UAE Ministry of Economics, the SME sector plays a considerable role in driving the economy forward. With an anticipated surge in consumer spending, as visitors, tourists and investors flock into the Emirate, wealth for SME business owners is expected to grow significantly.
However, with only half of the registered SMEs in the GCC currently able to gain additional funding to support their developing businesses, challenges clearly still remain.
The SME Congress & Expo, taking place from December 16 to 18 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, will look at the challenges and solutions facing Middle East SMEs, providing an important learning platform to help entrepreneurs and SMEs in the region successfully launch, grow and finance their businesses.
Souad Mohamed Al Hosani, president of Nexus Business Services and Nexus Agencies, who is speaking at the conference, said that not only will the tourism, hospitality and real estate sectors benefit from Dubai’s successful Expo 2020 bid, but there will also be a chain reaction in the long term for all SMEs.
“Winning the Expo 2020 is a massive honour for the UAE and the whole Arab world,” said Hosani. “This historical event will have a huge impact on all business sectors, especially SMEs.”
“Following the economic crisis, the Expo 2020 is the perfect boost for SMEs, enabling them to expand and be more creative and innovative, to gain and enhance their business. They have a vital role to play in ensuring that Dubai Expo 2020 is a resounding success.”
As SMEs and entrepreneurs across the UAE look to take advantage of this opportunity by starting, growing and diversifying their businesses, the challenge to stay ahead of competition is fiercer than ever.
Abdulmuttalib Al Hashimi, managing director of Next Level, UAE, who is speaking on day two of the SME Congress & Expo, thinks this economic growth will boost business confidence in the market, allowing for increased demands on services and goods.
“I see Dubai becoming a large hub for SMEs in the country and the region, and an incubation center for local and international entrepreneurs,” said Hashimi. “For SMEs to make any impact they will need to be empowered by the government. Empowerment can come in the form of legislation to help SMEs conduct their business with ease, availability of funding, opportunity to bid and compete for contracts and many other forms.”
The SME Congress & Expo aims to showcase the Mid East SMEs potential at every level. A highlight this year of the three-day event is the Pitch for Investment competition, a unique platform where a shortlist of 10 entrepreneurs and business people will present their ideas and current businesses to a panel of experts in the hope of winning prizes and investments. – TradeArabia News Service