Dubai’s EXPO 2020 awarded around 6.8 billion of contracts to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), providing a significant contribution to an essential sector of Dubai’s dynamic economy and surpassing a commitment that was made in 2016 to reward at least 20% of all direct and indirect spend to SMEs.
The figure illustrates around a quarter of all EXPO 2020 Dubai contracts in terms of value. 3,245 suppliers were awarded Expo 2020 Dubai contracts, of which 66% (2,150) were SMEs, and about 64% of these consisted of domestic SMEs, reflecting the diversity and calibre of UAE-based firms and supporting the UAE’s broader drive to a thriving private-sector more resilient economy.
The majority of around 760 overseas SME suppliers came from the UK (24%), the US (16%), France (4%), India (4%) and Australia (4%).
Suppliers from beyond the UAE were sourced from 94 countries, signifying the World Expo’s international reach and influence.
The Chief Financial Officer and Deputy CEO, Expo 2020, Mukhtar Safi, said, “Our dedication to SMEs has been implanted into our planning since the very start of our World Expo journey, marking the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to support and empower SMEs – the lifeblood of economies around the world, including the UAE, where they are an essential driver of financial growth and a robust source of job creation.”
“The integration of SMEs into the delivery of what has been an indeed unique World Expo will be an essential part of Expo’s legacy for the UAE and wider region, boosting employment, supporting existing industries, improving SME competitiveness and eventually contributing to sustainable economic growth.”
From construction enterprises to event organisers, retail stores to food and drink outlets, SMEs played a vital role in the success of Expo 2020 Dubai, which granted AED 1.06 billion to UAE-based SMEs in 2021 alone.