Privileges for ‘Dubai SME 100’ companies


Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED), Government of Dubai, entrusted with the development of the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has signed a partnership agreement with Zawya to offer benefits to the top 100 SMEs.

Under the Partnership Agreement, the benefits and privileges SME100 companies will enjoy are as follows:

1. 1st and 2nd ranked SMEs will be offered free Zawya Business Development Pro membership
2. 3rd ranked to 10th ranked SMEs will be offered free 3 months of Zawya Business Development monthly membership
3. 11th ranked to 100th ranked SMEs will be offered 15% discount on Zawya Business Development Pro annual membership
4. 15% discount on advertising and mail shots on Zawya
5. a free consultation on how to enhance business development using the web

His Excellency, Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai SME, expressed his utmost gratitude to Zawya for supporting this critical initiative to champion the SME sector. He said that this is only the beginning of our SME development journey together with valued partners like Zawya. I am confident that as the Dubai SME100 initiatives strengthens over the years, Zawya will provide even more benefits to these promising SMEs.

Mr Gunnar Skoog, CEO of Zawya, said: “As the leading online business intelligence platform in the Middle East, we are delighted to support the Dubai SME 100 initiative. Zawya’s core focus is to deliver timely and comprehensive intelligence that enables companies, large and small, to make the most informed business decisions. We are particularly focused on empowering SMEs in the UAE, as well as in the rest of the Middle East, as they are significant drivers of the region’s economy. SMEs rely on the information we provide to grow their business and make it more profitable as they are hungry to find innovative ways to promote their products and services and gain more exposure online. As such, Zawya will enable them to access the right business and investment opportunities in the Middle East.”

Skoog added: “Through this partnership, Zawya will be providing a number of benefits to the top 100 SMEs in Dubai, including free memberships to its Zawya Business Development service, discounts on selected marketing activities including advertising, and free consultations on how to enhance business development using the web”


In line with the strategy to groom promising SMEs, the Dubai SME 100 ranking will act as a platform and catalyst to identify promising SMEs – to groom them to become bigger, better and sustainable enterprises; eventually graduating them to large globally-oriented companies. At its core, the ranking is aimed at:

  • Celebrating Dubai’s top performing SMEs
  • Creating greater awareness of the importance of SME development
  • Creating a national motivational psyche in the nation’s social and business community
  • Encouraging SME role models to share their best practices in management
  • Marketing the capabilities of Dubai’s SME’s to regional and global investors
  • Providing opportunities for SMEs to raise capital
  • Creating a base of SMEs for a potential secondary listing of SMEs (IPO) that can attract equity capital for growth
  • Providing development path for SMEs to graduate
  • Creating a culture of transparency, corporate governance and best practice sharing.

Unlike other rankings which are based mainly or purely on financial indicators, the Dubai SME 100 ranking places a balanced emphasis on financial and non-financial dimensions of enterprise performance and development. The non-financial dimensions cover Innovation, International Orientation, Human Capital Development and Corporate Excellence. The ranking will also serve as a tool for helping SMEs identify capability gaps for improvement.

The ultimate outcome is for Dubai to have more growth-oriented, innovative, capable and sustainable enterprises that can fly the UAE flag high.

The basic criterion is that the applicant must be an SME based on the official definition of Dubai’s SMEs, with up to 250 employees and a turnover of up to AED250 million. In addition, it must have audited financial statements for at least three years, and be an independent entity registered in Dubai (under DED or any Free Zone).

Over 830 eligible SMEs have been nominated by banks, business councils and Free Zones to participate in the initiative, with more nominations expected in the next few weeks. The first ever Dubai SME100 ranking list will be out in late October 2011.


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