Dubai Reinforces Status as Hub for SMEs Growth


Emma Okonji
Dubai has launched a series of initiatives to become a more productive base for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and reduce the cost of doing business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Africa and South Asia.

Apart from the forthcoming Expo 2020 Project, which would see the city host the first ever World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MENA), the Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development mandated to develop the SME sector in the Emirate has been supporting local entrepreneurs.

The agency extended support to 4,227 local entrepreneurs in 2018, an increase of 32 per cent from 2017, while the value of its incentives and facilities increased 63.4 per cent to AED101 million in 2018 from AED61.8 million in 2017. Furthermore, 5,767 entrepreneurs benefited from Dubai SME’s services, training and development programmes, a 163 per cent increase compared to 2017.

In addition, 1,175 national companies were launched in Dubai in 2018, thanks to the support of Dubai SME.
In a statement, the CEO of Dubai SME, Abdulbaset Al Janahi, said: “The UAE and its leadership are committed to supporting entrepreneurs and creating a supportive economic climate for small and medium enterprises.”

In the last few years, Dubai has emerged as a SME hotspot for new specialised niche sectors. One such sector that has witnessed exciting SME growth stories is fintech. Dubai has become a major hub for fintech startups, thanks largely to government support and initiatives undertaken by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

DIFC’s unique experimental licences, market leading pricing and collaborative workspaces have been instrumental in spawning a vibrant fintech ecosystem that is unrivalled in the wider region.

Vivo Announces African Expansion Plan
Emma Okonji
Vivo has announced its expansion plan into the Middle East and Africa markets and will soon launch its latest Y series smartphones in the region.
As part of its global expansion, Vivo’s products are now available in UAE and Morocco, with Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to follow suit in the coming months.
Building on the success of the wildly popular V15 and NEX in markets across Asia, which has propelled its return to the world’s top five smartphone makers, according to International Data Corporation (IDC), Vivo is continuing its mission to bring innovative and stylish products to more consumers around the world.
According to Counterpoint Research, the smartphone market in the Middle East and Africa has increased by 6 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in Q1 2019, while the feature phone market decreased by 6 per cent (YoY) during the same period, which demonstrates a growing demand for innovative smartphones in the region.
Senior Vice President of Vivo, Spark Ni, “Since our first entry into international markets in 2014, we have been dedicated to understanding the needs of consumers through in-depth research in an effort to bring innovative products and services to meet changing lifestyle needs.
“The Middle East and Africa markets are important to us, and we will tailor our approach with consumers’ needs in mind. The launch of Y series is just the beginning. We look forward to bringing our other widely popular products beyond Y series to consumers in the Middle East and Africa very soon.”
The Y series will be available in the Middle East and Africa markets progressively starting in UAE and Morocco. The Y12, Y15 and Y17 all provide a different balance of trendsetting design, powerful photography features and performance to consumers. From the 89,per cent screen-to-body ratio, AI Triple Camera to the Magical Color Fusion design, the Y series is a perfect blend of technology and style usually only featured in premium smartphones, Ni said.
Vivo is also investing heavily in 5G and AI development.
At the recent Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2019, the company announced its strategy to accelerate its innovations across smart devices and applications for the 5G era, and showcased a range of 5G applications and many smarter life scenario, further reinforcing the company’s commitment to innovating for the next-generation mobile experience.