About the Initiative

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The Dubai International Growth Initiative is the first of its kind, offering financing solutions based on the Emirates’ Interbank Offered Rate (EIBOR), with no additional margin to accelerate the global expansion of Dubai-founded SMEs.

The first phase of the initiative is open to Dubai-founded SMEs in sectors including E-commerce, food and beverage (F&B), fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), manufacturing, services and retail (including parts and machinery) with additional sectors to be added in subsequent phases.

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The Dubai International Growth Initiative, which allocates AED 500 million to support SMEs, serves as a strategic commitment to the future development of Dubai's economy.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,

Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.

Key Initiative Highlights

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Open to
all nationalities

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AED 500 Million
 Initiative

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Up to AED 15 million financing for up to 7 years

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Subsidized rate
of interest

Eligibility

To qualify for the Dubai International Growth Initiative, SMEs will need to:

  • Be founded and operational in Dubai, demonstrating a successful and sustainable business model.
  • Operate within the sectors of E-commerce, Food and beverage (F&B), Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), manufacturing, services and retail (including parts and machinery) .
  • Use the financing to establish global business expansion of their current line of business.
  • Effectively manage repayments based on cashflows from their current operations.
  • Present a comprehensive business plan outlining their strategy for global growth.
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Application Process

At Emirates NBD, we ensure a transparent and effective selection process for you.

Step 1
Complete the application form
Step 2
Engage with a specialist to facilitate approval
Step 3
Start your global expansion journey 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
for the Dubai International Growth Initiative

The Dubai International Growth Initiative is an initiative by the Government of Dubai to accelerate global expansion of Dubai-founded Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). It offers financial assistance and innovative financial solutions to propel their business into global markets.

The first phase of this strategic initiative is open to SMEs founded in Dubai in various sectors (additional sectors to be added subsequently), encompassing E-commerce, F&B (Food and Beverage), FMCG (Fast moving consumer goods), manufacturing, services and retail (including parts and machinery distribution) and have been operational for three to five years, and are looking to establish their global presence. They must also meet certain financial criteria, including revenue, net profit, free cash flow, and debt-to-EBITDA ratio along with other financial and non-financial criteria.

A SME in Dubai is defined as any enterprise which meets the thresholds of Employee Headcount and Turnover, as applicable to the sector it belongs to. To be classified as a SME, the business may have a maximum of 250 employees with annual turnover less than or equal to AED250 million.

Qualifying SMEs can receive up to AED 15 million as a facility for a maximum period of 7 years. The initial funding pool for the initiative is AED 500 million.

The initiative is open to all nationalities that have a business founded in Dubai and are applying for global expansion of their existing business.

The Dubai International Growth Initiative is an initiative by the Government of Dubai to accelerate global expansion of Dubai-founded Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). It offers financial assistance and innovative financial solutions to propel their business into global markets.

The first phase of this strategic initiative is open to SMEs founded in Dubai in various sectors (additional sectors to be added subsequently), encompassing E-commerce, F&B (Food and Beverage), FMCG (Fast moving consumer goods), manufacturing, services and retail (including parts and machinery distribution) have been operational for at least five years, and are looking to establish their global presence. They must also meet certain financial criteria, including revenue, net profit, free cash flow, and debt-to-EBITDA ratio along with other financial and non-financial criteria.

A SME in Dubai is defined as any enterprise which meets the thresholds of Employee Headcount and Turnover, as applicable to the sector it belongs to. To be classified as a SME, the business may have a maximum of 250 employees with annual turnover less than or equal to AED250 million.

Qualifying SMEs can receive up to AED 15 million as a facility for a maximum period of 7 years. The initial funding pool for the initiative is AED 500 million.

The initiative is open to all nationalities that have a business founded in Dubai and are applying for global expansion of their existing business.

Financing received under the initiative can be used to cover expenses related to global expansion. This includes operational costs such as rentals, lease payments, capital expenditures for fit-outs, equipment, regulatory fees, and other startup costs associated with establishing and operating a global business.

The initiative offers medium-term loans and working capital facilities. The cost of financing will be based on the Emirates’ Interbank Offered Rate (EIBOR), with no additional margin, however the standard bank fees (facility set up/processing fees) may apply.

Participants approved under the initiative are required to route their existing business cashflows through Emirates NBD UAE bank accounts and where Emirates NBD group has a branch network the international cash flows must also be routed through the account in the specific country. This ensures transparency for evaluation and assists Emirates NBD in supporting the participant with a suite of products.

The maximum financing amount available to an SME is AED 15 million.

Upon fulfilling the initial eligibility criteria, a dedicated specialist will conduct a discretionary comprehensive review of the applicant’s business followed by the joint steering committee review for inclusion in the initiative. Qualified applicants will work closely with Emirates NBD to receive tailored financial solutions to address their unique growth needs.

A specialist will keep you informed of the decision of Emirates NBD and the joint steering committee. Upon acceptance your specialist will work with you in completing the documentary formalities.

For any reason If Emirates NBD does not approve your application for recommendation to the initiative, the specialist will explain to you the reasons why your application was not approved by Emirates NBD. The joint steering committee while maintaining transparency is not required to disclose the reasons for non-acceptance. This may include but is not limited to viability of the proposal to concentration risk for a specific sector or sub-sector.

Emirates NBD through its various product offerings can offer you a financial solution that is within its risk appetite and policies; however, it is important to note that such solutions will not fall under this initiative. We offer these products and services in the regular course of our business. If you have completed the detailed review process Emirates NBD may recommend alternate solutions.

The joint steering committee evaluates all applicants on a fair basis primarily using the evaluation performed by Emirates NBD. The joint steering committee as part of its decision-making process may invite qualified applicants to present their business plans. Though, the joint steering committee does not intend to host each applicant. Emirates NBD will remain the point of contact for applicants and subsequently for all approved participants.

The initiative is overseen by a joint steering committee comprising representatives from Dubai Government and Emirates NBD. They review and approve applications for inclusion in the initiative, ensure compliance with the initiative criteria, and manage governance.

 

Joint steering committee members:
  • Rashed Ali Bin Obood Al Falasi, Chief Executive Officer - Public Debt Management Office of the Department of Finance
  • Hadi Badri, Chief Executive Officer - Dubai Economic Development Corporation
  • Ahmed Al Qassim, Group Head of Wholesale Banking - Emirates NBD
  • Marwan Hadi, Group Head of Retail Banking & Wealth Management - Emirates NBD
  • Vinod Ramabhadran, Group Chief Credit Officer - Emirates NBD

The initiative will remain accessible until such time as the initiative is deemed closed by the joint steering committee or reaches its target of AED500 million. Following the initial review, a specialist will contact you for further information and to support your application.

Please review the details of the initiative and requirements for application. Once you have submitted your application, our specialist will contact you. You may also call our call centre on 600540009 or email us on dubaismegrowth@emiratesnbd.com for any support.

Embark on this journey of growth and
global opportunities

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To learn more, reach out to us on
dubaismegrowth@emiratesnbd.com

Useful Links & Documents

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