Emirates NBD, one of the largest banks in the UAE, recently revealed the eligibility requirements for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take part in the first phase of Dubai’s AED500 million International Growth Initiative. The landmark program was launched by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in January 2024 to accelerate the global expansion of Dubai-based SMEs and support the emirate’s goal of doubling its GDP as outlined in the Dubai Economic Agenda D33.
The first phase of the initiative will focus on SMEs operating in key sectors like food and beverage, fast moving consumer goods, retail including parts distribution, e-commerce, services, and manufacturing. Additional industries may be included in subsequent stages. Participating companies must be founded and headquartered in Dubai with a proven business model.
Through its partnership with Emirates NBD, the program will provide up to AED15 million in financing to eligible SMEs over seven years. This long-term funding is intended to help companies manage cash flow effectively during their global growth phase. Financing will be offered at competitive EIBOR rates with no additional margin.
A joint steering committee consisting of Dubai government and Emirates NBD representatives will oversee the initiative. The committee is tasked with selecting qualified SMEs, guiding implementation, and ensuring the program achieves its strategic goals of empowering Dubai-based businesses to expand internationally.
To participate, SMEs must fulfill criteria aligned with Dubai’s vision. Core requirements include using financing exclusively for the current line of business’ global expansion, effectively managing repayments from ongoing operations, and presenting a comprehensive growth strategy and business plan.
Once preliminary eligibility is established, Emirates NBD specialists will conduct in-depth reviews before the steering committee makes final participation decisions. Accepted companies will then work closely with the bank to receive customized financial solutions addressing their unique needs.
By facilitating up to AED15 million per SME in affordable long-term funding, Dubai’s new growth initiative aims to accelerate the global ambitions of local small and medium companies. Backed by Emirates NBD’s support and expertise, the program demonstrates Dubai’s continued commitment to developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem that empowers businesses to succeed on the international stage.
Emirates NBD has revealed criteria for SMEs to participate in the first phase of Dubai’s AED500 million International Growth Initiative. Key criteria include being a Dubai-founded company operating in target sectors with a proven business model and plan to use funding for global expansion. The initiative aims to support the emirate’s economic goals by facilitating up to AED15 million per SME over seven years.