Q&A: Dubai Islamic Bank

We quizzed CEO of Dubai Islamic Bank, Dr Adnan Chilwan, on the developing relationship between banks and small businesses and how DIB is helping new ventures get off the ground

SME financing has long been a difficult balancing act. What steps have Dubai Islamic Bank taken to improve the options for small businesses?

The SME sector forms a critical pillar not only of the UAE economy but also Dubai Islamic Bank’s (DIB) growth strategy, and hence will see a major allocation of our product development focus and expertise.

We strongly believe that this sector will remain the backbone of the economy and, as an Islamic bank, we view the development and growth of the small businessmen and entrepreneurs as our responsibility. To this end, we have invested in developing a unique suite of products and services that are aimed at meeting the financial needs of this all-important segment.

Our SME Business Solutions Initiative, a Sharia-compliant suite of products and services has been specifically developed to support the growth of these enterprises, including business financing. The offering provides small business owners a broad range of customised solutions, ranging from the establishment of business accounts and cash management tools to trade and treasury services, as well as business credit cards.

Working with dedicated relationship managers, we allow SMEs to access working capital finance, capital expenditure finance, and contracting and fleet finance, supported by flexible repayment options.

We have focused on developing these business finance solutions to meet the specific needs of SMEs in today’s evolving market. By providing high finance amounts and rapid approvals, Dubai Islamic Bank is reshaping the SME banking space, providing a plausible and viable opportunity to unlock the potential of thousands of small and medium enterprises across the UAE.

Why are SME products so important for banks, small businesses, and for the region in general?

SMEs are widely regarded as a key growth driver of the UAE economy and have increasingly grown in importance over the past few years. Contributing to 60 percent of the UAE’s non-oil GDP and 86 percent of private sector employment, the sector has played a critical role in the diversification of the country’s economy.

As the sector continues to grow in importance, it is essential for these businesses to have access to a leading range of products designed to help entrepreneurs and small companies achieve their growth ambitions.

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