Expo 2020 Dubai awarded Dhs6.8bn of contracts to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to state news agency WAM.
It exceeded a commitment made in 2016 to award at least 20 per cent of all direct and indirect spends to SMEs.
The Dhs6.8bn figure represented more than a quarter of all Expo 2020 Dubai contracts in terms of value.
Of the 3,245 suppliers awarded Expo 2020 Dubai contracts, 66 per cent (2,150) were SMEs, with 64 per cent (1,390) of these comprising UAE-based SMEs.
There were a total of 94 countries outside of the UAE from where SME suppliers were awarded Expo 2020 contracts. The majority of the 760 overseas SME suppliers came from the UK (24 per cent), the US (16 per cent), France (4 per cent), India (4 per cent) and Australia (4 per cent).
From construction firms to event organisers, retail stores to food and beverage outlets, the Expo 2020 Dubai which awarded Dhs1.06bn worth of contracts to UAE-based SMEs in 2021 alone.
Of this, Dhs161.7m in contracts were awarded to Dubai SMEs, strengthening Dubai’s Government Procurement Programme, which requires UAE Government entities and establishments where the government holds equity of 25 per cent or more to allocate 10 per cent of their purchasing to Emirati firms that are members of Dubai SME – part of the Department of Economic Development.
The Expo 2020 Dubai procurement process itself was based on three principles: simplicity, transparency and inclusivity. In 2018, Expo 2020 Dubai became the first World Expo to secure an Excellence in Procurement Award from the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.
“The integration of SMEs into the delivery of what has been a truly exceptional World Expo will be an important part of Expo’s legacy for the UAE and wider region, stimulating employment, strengthening existing industries, enhancing SME competitiveness and ultimately contributing to sustainable economic growth,” said Mukhtar Safi, chief financial officer and deputy CEO of Expo 2020 Dubai.
Over the course of the six months of Expo 2020 Dubai which opened to the public on October 1 and concluded on March 31, there were 24,102,967 visits recorded.
According to a report commissioned by Dubai Chamber of Commerce, it found that that 76.5 per cent of companies in Dubai registered growth in their businesses during Expo 2020, while 73.5 per cent managed to build new business relations over the course of the Expo.
Read: Over 24 million visits recorded at recently concluded Expo 2020 Dubai