Group photo during the signing ceremony
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the Number One Bank in the UAE, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) – one of the fastest-growing and most cost-effective free trade zones in the UAE – to further expand and reinforce NBAD’s services to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) across the UAE.
The MoU provides for collaboration between RAK FTZ and NBAD to increase their reach to SMEs, especially within the Free Zone, and encourage entrepreneurial spirit among young UAE nationals. The partnership also paves the way for RAK FTZ and NBAD to foster SME growth through customised solutions.
Since its inception, RAK FTZ has always focused on supporting the SME sector. The Free Zone has facilitated the growth of SME businesses across sectors, realising the potential and opportunities for business generated through the SMEs, especially in infrastructure and development projects.
“We are pleased to launch a partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone, one of the most significant business enablers in the Northern Emirates,” said Haitham AlRefaie, the Head of Business Banking Group at NBAD. “NBAD is keen to expand its reach and services to SMEs because this important segment is an engine of growth. NBAD and RAK FTZ pursue the common goal of cultivating and promoting entrepreneurial spirit and the growth of Small and Medium sized businesses.”
NBAD’s partnership with RAK FTZ comes close on the heels of the bank’s launch of four business banking centres, e-Business Banking, NBAD Visa Business Credit Card, Rent Financing for SMEs, MoU with Dubai SME and a flurry of other products and promotions exclusive to SMEs earlier this year. NBAD also administers Khalifa Fund through its partnership with Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.
“Our approach is to be accessible to SMEs and we are achieving this through opening business banking centres and by our partnerships to expand our geographical reach,” Al Refaie said. “Our partnership with RAK FTZ will be very productive to what both organizations aim, which is to help SMEs and to promote entrepreneurial spirit and cultivate further growth for this segment.”
In his comments, Oussama El Omari, CEO of RAK FTZ, said: “The RAK FTZ has enjoyed a steady increase in our client base, especially in the SMEs, since we started 10 years ago because of our continued diligence to keep abreast of the needs of today’s businesspeople. As a fast-growing industry, we fill an important gap in the market by providing entrepreneurs and SMEs with the appropriate and hassle-free venue to grow or expand their operations in the Middle East through innovative business solutions. We are happy to join forces with NBAD which would be an invaluable value-addition to our clients in their bid to define the new global economy.”
He added: “We have seen phenomenal growth in new registrations and renewals at the RAK FTZ, and such partnership with a leading bank will further build on our growth trajectory.”
With optimistic plans to assist and encourage entrepreneurs, especially the UAE nationals, the multi-award winning RAK FTZ continues to live up to its reputation as the ‘Home of Business' in the region.