New SME district launched in Dubai’s Al Seef

The hub will focus on SMEs in sectors including design, fashion, F&B and information technology



A new district dedicated to the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector has been launched in the Al Seef area in Dubai by developer Meraas and Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of the Economic Development (DED).

The Al Seef SME district will showcase a variety of new businesses from across the design, fashion, F&B and information technology industries, a statement said.

The space will offer essential infrastructure for resident SMEs, from a ‘connected’ work environment to collaboration rooms, and other office facilities.

Al Seef, a 1.8-kilometre waterfront promenade developed by Meraas, is located close to the Al Fahidi historical district and includes heritage contemporary areas with shops, cafes, restaurants, and three hotels. Al Seef also has a marina with 56 berths for private yachts, a traditional souk, floating markets and an events plaza.

“For Dubai SME, a key focus is on identifying the best locations and partners to enable local SMEs, particularly those in the fast-emerging and cutting-edge sectors, to innovate and grow,” said Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.

There has been a lot of focus on boosting local SMEs in Dubai and the UAE.

In July, the UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) announced plans to launch a platform to finance SMEs in the country.

The organisation said at the time that it was working with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and UAE Ministry of Economy, which will provide a regulatory and legislative framework to finance SMEs.

Read more: UAE regulator to launch SME financing platform

The UAE’s Ministry of Economy estimates that in Dubai alone, SMEs will account for nearly 95 percent of companies, employ 42 per cent of the workforce and contribute 40 per cent of GDP by 2021.

In total, the UAE has 350,000 SMEs, which collectively provide 86 per cent of private sector jobs and account for 60 per cent of gross domestic product, it was revealed earlier this year.

Also read: Here’s why banking could soon get easier for UAE start-ups