16,000 new companies came on board at Dubai Chamber in 2015

Press release
Published January 18th, 2016 - 10:57 GMT
Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry

In 2015, the emirate of Dubai reinforced its attractiveness to global investors with the addition of over 16,000 new companies joining the membership of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and taking the organisation’s total membership to 185,000. This 9.5% rise in membership enhances the Chamber’s position as one of the largest membership-based chambers of commerce in the world.

The members’ contribution is reflected in their annual exports and re-exports figures which valued at AED 286 billion in 2015 with Saudi Arabia emerging as the top-most destination for the members’ exports and re-exports amounting to AED 105.7 billion, or 37% of the total in 2015, while the Chamber registered a 5% growth in the number of Certificates of Origin issued during the past year, totalling 930,000 compared to 887,000 COs issued in 2014.

H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber revealed today that Dubai's economy emerged resilient during the year 2015 despite the global challenges created by the drop in oil prices, the economic uncertainties in Europe, China and Russia and weak global demand for commodities, mainly due to the emirate’s diversified economy which greatly minimised the impact of the global slowdown’s negative effects on its various economic sectors.

H.E. Buamim further stressed that Dubai’s economy achieved positive results in the area of aviation, air cargo and tourism which have grown over the past year, while trading activities remained stable despite the challenges. This was possible due to the wise vision and guidance of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who fully supports the emirate’s conducive global business environment.

The President and CEO of Dubai Chamber cited the recent announcement of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed calling for a ministerial retreat for federal and local UAE officials and economists to discuss the post-oil future of the UAE's economy at workshops and brainstorming sessions designed to boost the economy of the UAE and shift it away from oil, as well as discuss future scenarios and the up and coming sectors.

He said that the UAE has already diversified its economy by strengthening the non-oil sectors with a continued focus on trade, tourism, logistics and hospitality as well as to innovate new sectors which can serve as the pillars of the future growth of the economy while pursuing innovative solutions to move forward in the process of growth and development of the emirate.

“This year, Dubai Chamber, will continue its efforts to support the economic vision of the government and do its bit to promote the interests of the business community by exploring new markets, and identifying opportunities for trade and investment.

“We will also be continuing with our Global Business Forum series on Africa and Central Asia while focusing on two new regions – the CIS and Latin America. As through these events we provide a platform to businesses and the government from both sides to have a dialogue on areas of mutual cooperation, which is the first step towards building trade and investment linkages while we also support the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, as part of our efforts to develop the ‘green economy’ and reduce dependence on fossil fuels,” added H.E. Buamim.

He also said that as part of its strategic objectives to support the development of business and promote Dubai as an international business hub, the Chamber is committed to provide all the support and facilities to the private sector by launching initiatives that will enhance Dubai businesses’ competitiveness including the Dubai Innovation Index (DII), which is in line with the Dubai Plan 2021 aiming at making the emirate the first place in the ease of doing business and a favourite destination for investment.

Informing about the growth in issuance of ATA Carnets by the Chamber, H.E. Buamim informed that the organisation registered a 41.6% rise in the issuance of permission for temporary import of goods as it issued 194 ATA Carnets last year which demonstrated Dubai’s leadership in facilitating global trade, and supporting the conferences and exhibitions industry in the emirate.

He also informed that as part of its participation in overseas events, Dubai Chamber last year participated in 66 events in 38 cities in 30 countries while the Chamber received 673 delegations from 69 countries and had meetings with 1,600 Government officials and business delegates with a 57% increase in the number of visiting delegations compared to the year 2014.

Settling of trade disputes

Playing its leading role of settling commercial disputes amicably in the emirate, the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) a Dubai Chamber initiative, received 183 arbitration cases in comparison to the 174 cases received during the same period in 2014 while Dubai Chamber’s Legal Services department received 555 mediation cases, which together amounted to 738 cases received by the Chamber.

Studying draft laws

As part of its commitment to support business growth, Dubai Chamber studied, reviewed and followed up on 42 federal and local legislations and draft laws, with a growth of 100% in the number of laws and regulations that were reviewed, sending its recommendations to the “Supreme Legislation Committee in the emirate of Dubai” and to the concerned authorities, notably the  Revised draft federal law concerning Arbitration (2014); Revised draft federal law on Financial Restructuring and Bankruptcy (2015); Draft Cabinet decision concerning the By-Law of draft federal law on Food Safety (2015); and Revised draft law concerning Partnership between Public and Private Sectors in the emirate of Dubai (2015).

Excellence in customer service

Dubai Chamber last year served 330,000 customers compared to 315,000 in the same period in 2014 when 66% of customer transactions were completed in less than 6 minutes, which complements the Chamber’s efforts in providing the highest standards of customer service as part of its ongoing strategy to attract more foreign investments to Dubai, while enhancing the emirate’s status as a major destination for trade and finance in the world.

International Offices

All of the Chamber’s four international offices in Baku, Erbil, Accra, and Addis Ababa, organised 414 meetings with companies looking to enter the Dubai market or those seeking access to the surrounding markets that these offices operate from as last year they organised 18 different events for promoting the business environment in Dubai and their respective markets.

Promoting Dubai

The Dubai Association Centre (DAC), by the end of 2015 granted 16 licences for the establishment of global professional associations in the emirate of Dubai. Launched in 2014 by Dubai Chamber in collaboration with the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and Dubai World Trade Centre as part of its aim to allow international professional and business associations to establish a platform in Dubai to meet, exchange knowledge, network and cater to the region and beyond from the emirate.

Specialised studies

Last year, Dubai Chamber issued 18 business intelligence reports, and 16 market, sector and economic trends reports while it also published 48 economic bulletin articles and 24 trade and investment briefs.

The Chamber also published two specialised studies for UAE investors wishing to enter the African market during the Africa Global Business Forum and a first study on investment opportunities in the Islamic sectors of the Global Islamic Economy and another one focusing on non-commodity sectors in Africa.

Helping budding entrepreneurs

Dubai Chamber’s Tejar Dubai initiative, an entrepreneurship development programme that aims to help young Emirati SMEs to turn their business ideas into realities, adopted 20 projects while launching 10 projects in 2015 and a total of 16 projects since its inception two years ago.

Tejar Dubai signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dubai Smart City, aimed at promoting innovation amongst the private sector, especially upcoming entrepreneurs in Smart City initiatives. The joint agreement will encourage the private sector including the young start-ups to engage in shaping Smart Dubai vision in a competitive environment that allows for best ideas to come through while identifying and fostering new commercial ventures for the upcoming entrepreneurs to support the pillars of Dubai Smart City.

Tejar Dubai also signed an MoU with Youth Business International (YBI) allowing the exchange of experiences and knowledge on global best practices, besides providing young UAE entrepreneurs with mentoring support in starting their own business and the opportunity to participate in the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award organised by YBI which will showcase their contribution in the economic growth of Dubai to a global audience.

Innovation strategy launched

In line with the UAE Innovation Week announced by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed, Dubai Chamber launched its innovation strategy which measures innovation in the private sector and is based on three basic pillars including empowerment of innovation, measuring innovation and honouring innovators, whose two major objectives are to support and promote innovation in the private sector and to consolidate the Chamber’s reputation as one of the most innovative chambers of commerce in the world by investing in its employees and their work environment and human resources while highlighting the index as one of the most prominent tools in the innovation strategy of the Chamber.


Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award 2015

In May, Dubai Chamber organised the award ceremony of the eighth session of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award, a member of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiative launched by Dubai Chamber, when 20 companies were honored for their excellence in institutional performance while the Chamber also launched in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Economy, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Innovation Award for stimulating innovation in the local business community and the Gulf. The ninth session of the award was also launched late last year.

Islamic Economy Award

Dubai Chamber in cooperation with the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and Thomson Reuters, organised the Islamic Economy Award where eight companies and personalities in the eight categories of the award were honoured, in addition to the Lifetime Achievement Award and a special recognition for contribution to Islamic Economy.

Sustainability Week

The Dubai Chamber Centre for Responsible Business organised Dubai’s first “Sustainability Week” under the theme ‘Ma’an معاً– (Together) Our World, Our Responsibility’, which included a series of 9 events, seminars and campaigns attended by 3,500 people,  with its aim of exchanging information and experiences on best business practices in the application of CSR in the business community.

Smart Services

Dubai Chamber launched a series of new mobile apps to enhance the customer experience including the Smart Mediation application which is the first-of-its-kind in the region and provides all legal services on a single smart platform, the Smart Business application, the E-COO and the Africa Gateway Smart Application which allows exclusive access to investment opportunities in Africa, its market dynamics, as well as information on bidding for tenders across the continent.

Dubai Business Women Council

The Dubai Business Women Council witnessed an upswing in their activities in 2015 which was reflected in the organisation of the second session of the "Ro’Ya" initiative in partnership with MasterCard to encourage women to participate in the economic sector through the realisation of their entrepreneurial projects. The Council also organised a series of collective training courses and sessions and individual training for the exchange of ideas about the best ways to create and manage a successful business entity.

Overseas trade missions and events

  • Trade mission to the Czech Republic and Slovakia: Dubai Chamber organised a very successful trade mission to the Czech Republic and Slovakia, headed by H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, where the Czech-UAE Business Forum was organised and the establishment of the Czech Business Council, under the umbrella of the Chamber, was announced.
  • Milan Expo 2015: Dubai Chamber participated with an attractive stand within the UAE Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015 held in Italy under the theme, Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life while the Chamber also led the largest trade mission in its history to Milan Expo 2015. The four-day visit was attended 60 delegates and was interspersed with a series of events and business matching meetings.
  • World Retail Congress: Adding another feather to its cap of achievements as an international business and retail destination, Dubai has won the bid to host the 10th World Retail Congress 2016 in the emirate. The announcement came during the concluding day of the 9th Congress in Rome where Dubai Chamber-led trade mission participated.
  • Opening of International Office in Ghana: Dubai Chamber opened its fourth international office and its second in the African continent in the Ghanaian capital Accra as part of its efforts to stimulate Dubai and the UAE’s investment environment and to attract FDIs to the country.
  • Signature events: Last year, Dubai Chamber in association with Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and Thomson Reuters organised the Global Islamic Economy Summit which was attended by 3,500 delegates from more than 85 countries and complemented the Chamber’s efforts in supporting the emirate's vision to become a global capital of Islamic economy.
  • 3rd Africa Global Business Forum: Dubai Chamber organised the third session of the Africa Global Business Forum entitled New Drivers – New Partnerships which was attended by 1,300 heads of states, ministers and decision-makers from the public and private sectors from 50 countries, as the Forum discussed growth potential in Africa  including technology, funding tools such as pension funds, as well as the impact of low oil and commodities prices on growth.
  • Dubai Innovation Index: Dubai Chamber in cooperation with PwC, announced the results of the Dubai Innovation Index which revealed that Dubai occupies a higher rank than some of the world’s leading innovation-driven cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Madrid, Istanbul, Moscow, Milan, Sao Paulo and Mumbai. According to the survey, Dubai ranked 16th out of the 28 peer global cities which are currently considered the most prominent players in the field of innovation and creativity as the city Dubai progressed to 11th place in the world for its efficiency in innovation outputs.
  • Chamber’s 50th anniversary: Dubai Chamber marked its 50th anniversary with a series of initiatives that reflects its leadership role through an AED 1 Commemorative Coin with the LEED-certified Chamber building on its face, a pocket book entitled 50 Years of Empowering Vision highlighting the emirate’s journey from a small town to a world-class metropolis. The Chamber also issued commemorative postal stamps in cooperation with Emirates Post.

Top figures of 2015

  • Value of members’ trade: AED 286 billion
  • Certificates of Origin issued: 930,000
  • New members enrolled: 16,000
  • ATA Carnets issued: 194
  • Arbitration cases received: 183
  • Mediation cases received: 555 

Background Information

Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry

We are a non-profit public organization whose mission is to represent, support and protect the interests of the business community in Dubai. It does so by creating a favourable environment; promoting Dubai as an international business hub and by supporting the development of business.

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