Move comes after the scope of Dubai SME was expanded.

Jojo Puthuparampil is a business news writer for Inc. Arabia.

Procurement firm Tejari has signed a pact with Dubai SME, an agency under Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to unveil an eProcurement platform for SME members.

The collaboration aims to automate member requests and enable supplier categorization, it said in a statement. The platform will integrate with eSupply and will act as a gateway for membership payment.

Tejari operates as a part of the BravoSolution network with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa. It is part of a network that helps more than 600 companies and 100,000 procurement professionals in over 70 countries leverage procurement to drive financial performance, it claimed.

Through this agreement, we aim to create a shift in the business environment of the private sector SME projects, and to develop a portal for dealing with government procurement in Dubai, said Marwan Al Naqi, chairman at Tejari.

“The services portal links SMEs on an electronic platform and enables the exchange of data and information to identify qualified SMEs and entrepreneurs,” said Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.

The initiative is part of ongoing efforts to increase the contribution of SMEs to the non-oil GDP of Dubai and improve the emirate’s ranking in the ease of doing business across global indices in line with the Dubai Plan 2021, Al Janahi said.

The move is in line with Dubai SME’s increased scope.

Recently, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai H.H. Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum issued a new law, amending the previous rule governing Dubai SME.

As per the revised law, Dubai SME will be tasked with studying established projects and identifying key obstacles that hamper their growth.

It will also coordinate with banks and financial institutions to facilitate the availability of financing options for Dubai SME members.

The amendments also stipulate that bodies, agencies and companies that are owned by Dubai government, or in which the government has more than 25% stake, will be asked to exempt Dubai SME  licensed Emirati members from fees charged to add them to such bodies’ suppliers list.

These bodies will also allocate 10% of sales to Dubai SME members and 5% of commercial spaces in malls to members.

Dubai SME will also be tasked with licensing members. It will collect an annual fee of Dhs1,000 from licensed members during the first three years, while a fee of Dhs2,000 will be collected during the fourth and fifth years of the license.

The amendments stipulate that entrepreneurs from GCC countries will also be treated the same as Emiratis.

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