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Wed 1 Feb 2017 12:32 PM

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SMEs in pole position to win Expo 2020 Dubai licensing opportunities

7,958 SMEs from 121 countries have signed up as potential suppliers for Expo 2020 Dubai.

SMEs in pole position to win Expo 2020 Dubai licensing opportunities
Najeeb Al-Ali, executive director Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau.

Expo 2020 Dubai and Dubai SME have teamed up to host a workshop to advise UAE-based SMEs on how to win contracts to make licensed products for Expo 2020 Dubai.

Visitors to the UAE will have the chance to buy an expected 5,000 types of Expo-branded products, the first of which will be on sale before the end of this year. Expo 2020 Dubai organisers are looking for companies to become licensees giving them the right to produce goods that will be sold to millions of visitors expected during the six months of Expo 2020, as well as online, and at dedicated stores across the UAE.

“We want our Expo to have a rich sense of Emirati culture and heritage,” says Najeeb Al-Ali, executive director Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau. “And UAE-based SMEs are uniquely placed to enable us to achieve this. We are here to support them, and help them to thrive and work collaboratively to make the most of this opportunity.”

This week’s workshops are expected to help local SMEs to raise their profile, build capacity and demonstrate their capabilities on a global stage.

In working with Dubai SME, a DED agency mandated to develop the SME sector, Expo 2020 Dubai aims to make SMEs aware of the opportunities available to them and provide guidance on how to make the most of this chance.

Describing the sort of products SMEs could produce, Anita Chandler, Expo 2020’s director of licensing, says: “World Expos are a celebration of ideas, innovation and culture. Our licensed products will reflect that, and there will be something for everyone, whether it’s artisanal food, an indoor-farming kit, or an authentically Arabian products like traditional jewellery.

“We will be launching tenders for different types of products on a rolling basis in February and March, and throughout the rest of 2017 and into 2018.”

Expo operates an entirely online procurement system with potential suppliers using it to register their interest. So far, 7,958 SMEs have signed up as potential suppliers for Expo, two-thirds of the total. These SMEs come from 121 countries – the top three are Italy, with 267 SMEs registered, the UK with 300, and the UAE, with more than 6,000.

Last year Expo 2020 announced that 20 percent of its budget would be spent with SMEs, equivalent to more than AED 5 billion in business.