H.E. Eng. Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary, UAE Ministry of Economy, affirmed that there are no short cuts to creating a world-class economy and the UAE is fortunate to have many of the key ingredients necessary to achieve this, like a visionary leadership, stable government and a thriving, diverse private sector.
“Achieving excellence is at the heart of this ideal and it is this concept that is guiding the UAE as it moves forward in its journey of growth and development. Still, the key to our future lies in developing and incorporating the world’s best business practices in line with local expertise,” he said.
Speaking at the opening of the International Conference for the launch of the 7th cycle of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award 2013 at the Park Hyatt Hotel on Tuesday, Al Shehhi further stressed that excellence was at the heart of the UAE’s economic strategy and it is the main reason for the country’s swift rebound.
“For us, leadership, strategic planning, workforce and customer focus constitute the concept of business excellence. Similarly, the UAE’s sharp policies, diversification and openness to business helped it prosper in the wake of opportunities arising out of the global financial crisis, the Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Economy said.
He added, “These qualities also positioned us well to capitalise on the effects of the Arab Spring. Companies relocated to our shores in order to find a safe and stable base to conduct and expand their businesses.”
Al Shehhi congratulated Dubai Chamber for organising the International Conference Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award, focusing on the concept of business excellence. He said that the award participants are helping embed excellence in the UAE’s private sector every day.
He further stressed that the UAE’s efforts to steer the country towards economic growth and entrepreneurship along a new path are beginning to bear fruit. “Economic diversification, industrialisation and the promotion of entrepreneurship will continue to be our focus throughout 2013, in line with the UAE Vision 2021,” said Al Shehhi.
“The growth of SMEs, which constitute 94% of all operating companies in the country, is important to us and we are focused on encouraging and investing in the next generation of Emirati entrepreneurs, especially in the SME sector while we also feel that increasing private sector participation of Emiratis is vital to ensuring a sustainable and profitable future for our country,” he added.
Highlighting the impact of excellence on a company’s efficiency, productivity and profits, Al Shehhi stated that it is vital that all businesses today strive to employ better business practices in terms of their responsibility, accountability and transparency. The eyes of the world are watching Dubai’s progress closely and this is a real chance for us to prove that we are as forward thinking and pioneering as the best, he said.
H.E. Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber, informed that the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award, now in its 7th cycle, has incorporated the concept of continuous improvements for organisational transformation within its core and will encourage more businesses from different economic sectors, size and type to become examples of best practice in their respective fields.
He added that the award has helped countless businesses become more effective, more productive and more profitable organisations thus helping enhance quality, accountability, and sustainability across Dubai’s private sector by setting a standard and rewarding high achieving businesses.
Buamim informed that till date, 93 organisations have won the Award as its previous cycle attracted a diverse range of companies, from 17 different economic sectors, ranging in size and type. 76% were first time applicants, 22% were previous award winners and 24% were returning applicants, he said.
“Behind the award are the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Performance Programme, the Business Model and the Business Club which have been developed to help transform an organisation’s culture that values quality, professionalism, integrity, and responsibility,” said Buamim.
He stated that the award’s criteria have been designed in accordance with international best practices for business excellence. Consisting of nine categories, the Business Performance Model framework which is based on a self-assessment model is a comprehensive guide to streamlining an organisation and ensuring that all its facets are aligned to the greater concept of excellence, he said.
Buamim accredited the success of the award to its global partners in the US and Singapore, stating that though the Chamber is in the process of developing and enhancing the award today, it has ensured that the award is based on latest and best global models.
He thanked all the local, regional and global participants of the conference for their efforts in sharing their skills, experiences and expertise in sustainable business excellence with Dubai businesses.
The Conference had presentations on Managing Economic Transformation: The Role of Asian Productivity Organisation in the Global Market; Managing Excellence Through Leadership: Managing the Discipline of Transformation; Managing Excellence through Corporate Governance: The Role of Corporate Governance in Managing Transformation and Value Creation.
It also discussed Managing Excellence in the Workplace: Managing Transformation of Business Models in the Workplace; Managing Excellence Through Transformation Strategies: Executing Sustainable Business Strategies; and Ongoing Transformation in the Global Market: The Discipline of Transformation in Excellence – the way to beat recession and sustain growth.
The post-lunch session had a presentation on Managing Excellence in the Marketplace: The Art of Managing Changing Stakeholders’ Expectations.
In the second half, the conference also had an interactive forum with two panel discussions chaired by Dr. Belaid Rettab, Senior Director, Economic Research and Sustainable Business Development Sector, Dubai Chamber. A token of appreciation was presented to the speakers at the conclusion of the conference.
Main speakers included: Mr. Ryuichiro Yamazaki, Secretary General, Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), Mr. Mohammed A.R. Al Fahim, CEO, Paris Gallery, UAE, Mr. Sumair Sayani, Managing Director, A.C. Nielsen AMER Limited, UAE, Mr. Ken Liew, General Manager, Wing Tai Retail Pte Ltd, (2012 Singapore Quality Award Winner), Mr. Marcus Bailey, Regional Head of Corporate Affairs MENAP, Standard Chartered Bank, Dr. Roy Bauer, President and COO of Pemstar, USA, and Mr. Jagadish CV, Chief Executive Officer, Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company Pte Ltd, (2005 Singapore Quality Award Winner).
Mr. Ryuichiro Yamazaki, Secretary-General, Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), said: “As evidence of the strong commitment of UAE companies in nurturing and celebrating organisational commitment to excellence and quality, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award Performance Program is a fresh addition to the pool of best practices that can be shared within the APO community. We look forward to working jointly with the UAE in contributing to the strength and growth of organisations in our regions through the business excellence framework.”
Mr. Mohammed Abdul Rahim Al Fahim, CEO, Paris Gallery, added: “Your participation in the global conference gives you an opportunity to learn from the experiences of others, the ways in which they had executed their plans that led to their achievements and successes. On its part, the award reflects the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, that aims to enhance the level of performance, encourages development and sustainability.
Mr. Marcus Bailey, Regional Head of Corporate Affairs, MENAP, Standard Chartered Bank, said: “Standard Chartered is deeply honoured to work with the Dubai Chamber to position the emirate as a world-class business destination. We are excited to participate in the International Conference, both in sharing and benefitting from the insightful and relevant discussions on institutional excellence.”
“As a Bank, we are proud to be associated with the UAE and its growing importance as a regional business hub. The MRM award recognises organisations that display excellence in business strategy and execution, and more significantly those that contribute positively to the development of the UAE. Standard Chartered has had the privilege of partnering with many of our stakeholders in this development over the past 55 years.”
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award is the region’s most prestigious business award initiated by Dubai Chamber to support and reward the efforts of UAE-based businesses contributing to the economic development of the country.
The Award, which is organised annually under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, provides an excellent opportunity for participating organisations to gain experience through self-analysis and benefit from other participants’ experiences in institutional performance.