Relief Initiatives for SMEs and Individuals in the UAE

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Several small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE and other private sector businesses have been affected by the recent pandemic that has emerged and caused a financial shockwave across the world. 

Recently, the UAE Central Bank has urged lenders to support SMEs and individuals after it disbursed 10 billion dirhams worth of zero-interest loans. 


SMEs Role in Supporting the Country’s Economy

SMEs make up about 94 % of operating companies in the country and they provide 86 % of all jobs in the private sector, according to figures from the UAE Ministry of Finance. 

“SMEs are the growth engine of the country’s economy” said UAE’s central bank governor Abdulhamid Saeed, affirming on lenders to support private businesses and to take steadfast steps to utilise the country’s relief plans, which were designed to replenish banks amidst the global pandemic.


The UAE’s Financial Relief Measures

The government of the UAE has introduced several measures to ensure the financial flow across all financial institutions such as deferring government fees, loan payments, and increasing financing for SMEs, which contribute to around 60 % of non-oil output in the country. 

The Targeted Economic Support Scheme (TESS) launched in March by the UAE had an aggregate value of 256 billion dirhams.

What all of that means is that SMEs are vital for the country’s economy, and the UAE is one of the global competitors in supporting SMEs like other developed countries such as South Korea and Japan, where SMEs formulate around 99% of their economies. 


The UAE’s Targeted Economic Support Scheme Measures 

The TESS schemes have provided support for more than 270,000 customers, including individuals and SMEs, which have benefited from the relief plan, according to the UAE’s ministry of finance. 

This interest-free loan package provided by the UAE’s central bank had helped over 9,527 SMEs across the country because of the pandemic slowdown that was resulted by the shutdowns.

These measures included rolling out a 100 billion dirhams stimulus package that offered 50 billion dirhams zero-cost collateralised loans, now being drawn down and a loosening of banks’ capital buffers, giving them more ability to lend. 

One of the other measures that have been initiated by the central bank is applying new regulations that limit fees that banks charge of their SME customers and restrict them from requesting more than 10,000 AED worth of minimum bank account balance. (6)


3 UAE Banks that Support SMEs 

ADCB: 

ADCB offers all its SME customers and individuals alike, optimum business banking services and support programmes in the UAE. 

All its programmes, such as the SME credit guarantee scheme, are designed to expand your business and ensure its growth. Other solutions like business loans and financing have several services, such as Insta Loan, which gives any business in need of quick finance the required capital funds to assist it in replenishing its operations. You may contact ADCB to get your business enrolled in ADCB’s business support programmes.


National Bank of Fujairah: 

The National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) was one of the first banks to provide a dedicated team that supports small and medium-sized enterprises, with over a decade of experience under its belt. 

Whether you are a new SME or already at the helm of your company, the NBF team will provide the services that your business needs. 


Dubai Islamic Bank:

One of the most fundamental aspects of DIB’s business solutions for SMEs is the availability of financing of up to 2.5 million AED with tenure options between 6-48 months. The bank’s business and financing flexibility offers a wide range of choices that help SMEs advance their workflow and succeed in the U

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