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  • Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) and Dubai SME collaborate to highlight economic advantages of Retail Calendar programme
  • Strategic pricing and category restructure offered to stimulate greater small business participation

Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) and Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) mandated to develop the SME (small and medium enterprise) sector, have forged a strategic partnership to drive small business participation in the 2019 Retail Calendar, an initiative conceived by DFRE, DED and 18 selected industry partners to drive Dubai’s retail value proposition and attract increased resident and consumer shopping spend.

Dubai’s SME community represents a significant share of the emirate’s overall GDP. Mandated with strengthening Dubai’s SME sector, the partnership between DFRE and Dubai SME will focus on driving greater retail contribution from the city’s small businesses ensuring advantageous opportunities as part of the innovative Retail Calendar programme. As a first key milestone in the partnership and to encourage participation in the initiative, DFRE and Dubai SME held a briefing session for startups to outline the many economic benefits of participating in the Retail Calendar.

Following considerable analysis by Dubai SME and DFRE, the Retail Calendar pricing has been considerably restructured to cater to smaller businesses, creating special packages for all qualifying SMEs, who are members of the Dubai SME initiative promoted by DED, with only three years of operational experience and less than five outlets. Aimed at encouraging wider sector participation, this amendment will afford small and medium enterprises the opportunity to maximize sales and further enhance the overall economic growth.

In addition to the price restructuring, the third iteration of the Retail Calendar includes even more citywide events and activations throughout 2019, greater amplifying the opportunities for startups and small and medium enterprises across a diversified range of product categories and brand segments. Now featuring 18 events over 247 days, versus, 12 events over 178 days in 2018, participating small and medium businesses can take advantage of the tactical seasonal schedule of events and promotions that support retailers in boosting profitability and increasing spend from both residents and tourists.

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), said: “We are constantly looking for ways to support and promote the retail sector and this year, have placed great focus on targeting the small business segment, ensuring this important retail demographic can take advantage of the extensive benefits afforded by participation in the Retail Calendar. We are committed to consolidating our efforts across the city to offer exceptional experiences in collaboration with the public and private sectors, to continue to boost the retail sector. In cooperation with our industry partners at Dubai SME, we have worked to restructure the participation categories to enable smaller enterprises to take part in the Retail Calendar and benefit from increased opportunities to amplify their retail offering, thus contributing to the emirate’s wider economic development.”

Abdul Basit Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said: “Dubai SME seeks to involve the SME community in events that enhance their role in the local as well as international markets. The 2019 Retail Calendar in Dubai has varied events for traders to showcase the diversity of their products and services and would be a valuable round-the-year opportunity for SMEs.”

Al Janahi added that Dubai SME will continue to provide incentives and facilities to member SMEs to improve their competitiveness in retailing where SMEs already play a key role locally. “We will encourage entrepreneurs to participate in the Retail Calendar and offer promotions and discounts on their products, which can match any other product in terms of quality.”

Now in its third year, the 2019 Retail Calendar plays a crucial role in accelerating Dubai’s retail economy and boosting profitability for the city’s spectrum of retail outlets, including large-scale malls, local designers and small businesses, through a robust schedule of sales and promotional shopping campaigns.

The 2019 Retail Calendar includes the following festivals and events: Dubai Shopping Festival, Russian Holidays, Chinese New Year, Dubai Food Festival, Spring/Summer ‘19 Collection Launch, Home Festival, Ramadan in Dubai, Eid in Dubai (x2), Dubai Summer Surprises, Back to School, Fall/Winter ‘19 Collection Launch, Diwali, Dubai Fitness Challenge, 3-Day Super Sale (x2) and Gifting Weekend.

Abdallah Halwani, Managing Director, Foodmonde, said: “This initiative by DFRE and Dubai SME is a great step in empowering SMEs in Dubai to grow their businesses and give them the exposure they need. SMEs in Dubai play a crucial role in the economy and this is something that we have always needed. By taking the time to actively communicate with local businesses, we are now fully aware of the events that are running throughout the Retail Calendar and understand how we can be a part of them.”

Ahmad Foozan, Marketing Manager, Baynoona Towers and Traffic Sign said: “The introduction to the Retail Calendar has been very insightful and helps build overall knowledge of the 2019 events and festivals in store. I was personally very pleased to know about the many exciting promotions that are in place and how easy it is for an SME to sign up with the programme. I look forward to participating in the initiative and to exploring how best to grow my business.”

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