New study says UAE remains preferred location for SMEs

Dr Karim El-Solh, CEO of Gulf Capital.
Updated 25 September 2019

New study says UAE remains preferred location for SMEs

A new report highlights the enduring appeal of the UAE to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and business startups. 

The report by Diligencia, Gulf Capital and MEED reveals that the number of SMEs entering the UAE has grown by 30 percent over the past decade. It says that the rise in SMEs in the UAE is being driven by the introduction of new policies designed to boost private sector growth, such as allowing 100 percent foreign ownership of limited liability companies (LLCs) in certain sectors.

“New and innovative companies continue to use the UAE as a base for their regional operations. Despite the softening of the economic market in recent years, existing companies have shown resilience,” said Dr. Karim El-Solh, CEO of Gulf Capital.

The report says that SME growth is particularly strong in the technology, health care and education sectors.

The development of non-oil sectors is a key objective of the UAE’s strategic development vision to diversify the economy away from oil dependency,

According to the Ministry of Economy, SMEs account for about 94 percent of all companies operating in the UAE and they employ about 86 percent of the country’s private sector workforce. 

The report by Diligencia, Gulf capital and MEED highlights the leading role played by Dubai in providing the required business environment and economic infrastructure to support new companies. 

It says that an average of 1,000 new company licenses were registered every year in Dubai from 2015 to 2018.


Burj Al-Arab named No. 1 city hotel in MENA

Updated 13 July 2020

Burj Al-Arab named No. 1 city hotel in MENA

Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah, the crown jewel in hospitality leader Jumeirah Group’s portfolio and global icon of luxury, has been named the No. 1 city hotel in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by Travel + Leisure at its World’s Best Awards.

Every year, Travel + Leisure — one of the largest travel media brands in the US — provides its 6 million plus readers the chance to have their say in choosing the most outstanding destinations, hotels, resorts, spas, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators and rental car agencies around the world as part of its annual survey. This year marks 25 years of celebrating the best in travel, with Burj Al-Arab recognized on the “World’s Best” list for its hospitality excellence, intuitive luxury service and iconic appeal.

Currently celebrating two decades of operations, the hotel is renowned across the globe for its boundary-pushing architecture and innovative design, with the team going above and beyond to create bespoke experiences for guests. It is also known for culinary excellence with a collection of restaurants led by renowned chefs and overseen by Michael Ellis, chief culinary officer and former managing director of the Michelin Guide.

José Silva, chief executive officer of Jumeirah Group, said: “Burj Al-Arab represents the very pinnacle of luxury, known world-over for its elevated design, service beyond expectations and unmatched physical spaces. International recognition such as this not only reaffirms the hotel’s iconic standing on the world map but also serves as a thank you to all those who go above and beyond, every day, to make our guests’ stay truly remarkable.”

Jumeirah Group, a member of Dubai Holding and a global luxury hotel company, operates a 6,500+-key portfolio of 26 properties across the Middle East (including the flagship Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah) Europe and Asia, with more properties currently under construction around the globe.

Prioritizing the health and safety of its guests and colleagues, Jumeirah Group has implemented a series of protective measures across all of its hotels, while strictly adhering to each market’s respective government directives. Four of its hotels in Dubai were recently awarded the Bureau Veritas SafeGuard label, with Jumeirah Al-Naseem being the first hotel in the world to receive the prestigious certification. The group is working closely with Bureau Veritas to certify its wider portfolio.

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results, therefore, reflect Travel + Leisure’s readers’ experiences before the pandemic.