Dubai World Central discusses Trends in SME Innovation in UAE
Dubai World Central has successfully concluded a business breakfast networking event as part of its program of initiatives to facilitate the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE. DWC’s program gains additional significance with 2015 declared ‘Year of Innovation’ in the UAE.
The event, organized by DWC’s Business Park Free Zone and sponsored by accounting and consultancy firm Crowe Horwath, drew the participation of more than 80 companies and included a seminar that highlighted the opportunities and challenges facing SMEs.
Headlining the seminar as guest speaker, Kamal Hassan, development expert, business veteran and mentor, shared common financial challenges that are likely to emerge while setting up a seed venture. He also highlighted the importance of developing an advanced infrastructure to bring about change and innovation in product development towards the monetization of SMEs.
Noting that governments and corporates are increasingly realizing the value of innovation, he said: “To sustain innovation, SMEs need to attract talent, perform efficiently, and continually upgrade their systems and services.”
More specifically, Hassan said that DWC is playing a catalytic role in providing SMEs with an enabling infrastructure to help build a powerful and competitive SME community across the UAE. Adding that such efforts help maintain the country’s strong economic growth and create sustainable jobs, he quoted the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who said that governments and companies have no option but to “innovate, or become irrelevant.”
Founder, President and CEO of Dubai-based Innovation 360, a global innovation management firm, Kamal Hassan works with organizations of all sizes and specialties to enhance value creation through innovative products, services and business models.
Highlighting the strength and diversity of the SME sector and its contribution to trade and the annual value-add in the UAE, Paolo Serra, Vice President, Business Park, Dubai World Central, said: “SMEs are the backbone of businesses everywhere. The sector is immensely important to the economic development of the UAE in particular and the region as a whole. The SME sector in the UAE has tremendous potential and capabilities. At DWC’s Business Park Free Zone, we structure our products and services around customer needs and help nurture our clients as their businesses grow.”
An increasing number of foreign investors are setting up operations at Dubai World Central to leverage its growing business ecosystem that is built around the Al Maktoum International Airport (AMIA). Located around 50 kilometers away from Dubai International Airport, AMIA is currently undergoing a US$32 billion expansion, and is designed to become a next generation airport. Once complete, the emirate’s second airport will spread over 56 square kilometers with capacity to handle more than 200 million passengers and 16 million tons of cargo per year.
The Al Maktoum International Airport received its first passenger flight in 2013, while cargo operations began in 2010. As operations at the airport grow, the destination is anticipated to generate powerful business, employment and investment opportunities.