New UAE initiative 'Thabat' aims to support growth of family businesses
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New UAE initiative ‘Thabat’ aims to support growth of family businesses

New UAE initiative ‘Thabat’ aims to support growth of family businesses

The programme aims to transform 200 family business projects into major companies by 2030 with a market value exceeding Dhs150bn and annual revenue of Dhs18bn

Zubina Ahmed

With an aim develop a comprehensive business strategy to support the growth of family-owned businesses in the UAE, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, launched ‘Thabat’, a programme aimed at boosting the growth, sustainability and continuity of family-owned businesses.

Family businesses represent one of the key pillars of the UAE’s economic vision and strategy, and are among the highest priorities on the country’s development agenda. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed said “These businesses constitute a key engine of growth and are a vital element of our plans to promote development driven by knowledge, innovation and creativity. The ‘Thabat’ programme seeks to support and enable family businesses to diversify into new business sectors, in line with the UAE’s vision for the next fifty years.”

The ceremony held to launch the ‘Thabat’ programme was organised by the Ministry of Economy at the Museum of the Future on September 19.

‘Thabat’ will assist companies in transforming their entrepreneurial ideas into viable business projects with the support of advanced technologies. The programme will also help them enter sectors outside their traditional fields, and encourage them to embrace advanced knowledge-driven industries such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, agricultural technology, space sciences and renewable energy.

Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, said the UAE is committed to introduce initiatives that promote growth and innovation, as part of its strategic drive to enhance the sustainability of its economy, and make the nation a hub for entrepreneurship and creativity.

Bin Touq added that “the programme seeks to reinforce the UAE’s status as a leading destination for family businesses. The Ministry of Economy is working on creating an integrated system that brings together family businesses, startups, business accelerators and investors.”

The programme aims to transform 200 family business projects into major companies by 2030 with a market value exceeding Dhs150bn and annual revenues of Dhs18bn.

Thabat is supported by Investopia, Abu Dhabi-based technology ecosystem Hub71, Dubai Chambers, Family Business Council – Gulf, CSR UAE, Dubai Internet City’s in5 incubator and Bridgemaker.

Open to all family businesses based in the UAE, the first cohort of companies joining the programme include Al Yousuf Group, Al Serkal Group, Al Zarooni Emirates Investments, Gracia Group and Lootah Holding. The Ministry of Economy said another set of companies will join the programme over the next two weeks and have invited interested companies to apply to join the programme.

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