Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dubai Becomes Hot Spot For SMEs

Since Dubai was hit by the financial crisis in late 2008, the number of small and medium enterprises (SME) has been constantly growing, as more and more laid off people found their own businesses. According to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, the vast majority of the over 100,000 registered companies are SMEs and family businesses.

The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Courts, which is a court solely designed for cases happening in the off shore financial hub DIFC, has announced earlier last week that it will expand its jurisdiction beyond the DIFC and will be open to SMEs in the entire emirate of Dubai.

Such cases will be handled by the Small Claims Tribunal (SCT). The SCT deals only with cases with a dispute value of less than 500,000 Dirham (US$136,350). The extension of its jurisdiction means that the DIFC Courts will hire more lawyers and judges.

But not only in case of conflicts, also when an entrepreneur founds a new entity he or she has more financing options than in the past. In the first half of 2011, government departments in Dubai have supported SMEs with 40 million Dirham (US$10.9-million) , according to the Department of Economic Development (DED) .

In addition to that, nearly all of the 23 local banks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), of which the sheikhdom Dubai is a part of, have set special departments for SME consultation in recent years