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Dubai Chamber adds 16,000 new companies in 2020

DUBAI, March 7, 2021

Over 16,000 new member companies joined Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2020 as the organisation responded to new challenges and adapted its services and offerings to meet the changing needs of the business community.

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 percent of its core services available online, which enabled it to serve its members and customers remotely and efficiently, reported state news agency Wam.

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

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 percent 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.

The value of exports and re-exports of Dubai Chamber members amounted to AED 185 billion and a total of 632,436 certificates of origin were issued by the organisation last year. Meanwhile, 2,914 ATA Carnets worth AED 3.3 billion 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.

Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber, credited the Chamber’s positive performance and various achievements in 2020 to a number of important factors such as proactive communication, leadership, innovation, digital preparedness and close public-private sector cooperation, which helped the organisation overcome unprecedented challenges and guide the business community through various stages of the pandemic.

"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," Buamim added.

A virtual mediation service was launched to ensure the continuity of services during unprecedented circumstances, making the Chamber one of the first organisations of its kind in the region to offer this option. The Chamber received 215 virtual mediation cases during the year.

Another major initiative launched in 2020 was Business Connect, an information portal providing useful information and resources designed to help businesses deal with the impact of the pandemic. The Chamber released a comprehensive guide on various economic stimulus packages launched by the government and launched the "Ask the Expert" video series across its social media channels, which answered commonly asked business-related questions.

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 percent 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.

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.

The Market Access Programme, a flagship initiative of the DSH evolved significantly in 2020 with a strong focus on tech start-ups. Meanwhile, two new programmes were launched, namely the Emirati Development Programme and Scale-up Dubai to cater to changing needs of entrepreneurs. The 5th Dubai Smartpreneur Competition was also a highlight for 2020 with 315 innovative business ideas submitted that relate to the Expo 2020 Dubai sub-themes of Mobility, Opportunity and Sustainability.

Dubai Chamber continued exploring business opportunities in promising markets around the world as it received 2,907 delegations and met with 5,694 delegates from 36 countries in 2020. A total of 82 business networking events were organised, which were attended by 9,441 businesspeople.




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