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​​Starting up your own business is an important leap in your career and personal life. It requires planning, in-depth knowledge of the market, motivation and a passion for your product or service.

As an entrepreneur, the future of your company rests solely in your hands, and it will take discipline and determination to see it transform from an idea into a start-up.


Development Advisory Service

We're Here to Help


Starting a business is a challenging endeavour, and most of the time, you have to face the obstacles alone. Even when you possess the motivation and the enthusiasm, you still feel the urge to share your concerns and your thoughts with someone else – someone who knows the ins and outs of the starting a company.


Dubai SME aims to be your start-up development partner, and our business advisors are ready and willing to guide you at every step of the way. You can talk to us in confidence as you take advantage of our experience in helping over 12,000 Dubai-based entrepreneurs make their aspirations a reality since 2002.


Our Advisory Services at a Glance

Development Advisors (DA) are a manifestation of acute customer-centricity of SME and the underlying philosophy that Dubai SME will be a catalyst to enable and assist entrepreneurs to develop their ideas into bankable businesses.


Development Advisors will personally meet all SME customers, and through a series of well-coordinated programs, develop a customer service strategy tailored to the needs of individual customers, in line with SME policies and services.


The initial engagement with entrepreneurs of diverse age groups and backgrounds is an intricate psychological process that requires winning the trust and confidence of customers to share their business ideas, challenges, and fears. And from the perspective of the entrepreneurs the DA engagement is a self-reflective exercise to understand both the opportunities and challenges of becoming an entrepreneur.


Dubai SME have developed a range of services designed to offer the needed advice and support to UAE national entrepreneurs starting and developing their business in Dubai, as follow:

  • Developing your business idea into a reality
      • Finding your niche in the market
      • Conceptualizing a unique business offering
  • Writing up a solid business plan which will help you map out your business in the early stages, and then shared with prospective investors.​
    • Marketing basics
    • Target Mar​ket
    • Write a business plan that will help you in the early stages of your business and that you can share with others to obtain funding or hire employees.
    • Apply for the funding you need to launch your business.
    • Obtain the necessary approvals from Dubai Government departments and agencies.
    • Save government and other fees in the first years of your business.
    • Low licensing fees



Intelaq Program

Sometimes, a great idea doesn't need much to turn into a successful business. A desk, telephone, computer and your skills and creativity may be all you need to create a profitable, market-leading company.


Intelaq Programme

"Intelaq" is a one-of-a-kind programme launched in the UAE to assist Emiratis residing in Dubai to take their first step into the world of entrepreneurship. The programme aims to provide aspiring business owners with company start-up support through all its phases.


To achieve this, The Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development is dedicated to incubating & providing the necessary support during the initial phase for a period of three years. The support offered to Entrepreneurs manifest in the form of licensing, training courses as well as financial, legal, marketing, technical support, and consultancy. This will enable participants in the Intelaq program to become independent project leaders, and capable of achieving development growth.




The Intelaq license costs just AED 1,060. You may only have one trade or professional Intelaq license, but you can operate more than one activity under the license, so long as it is related to the core nature of your company. If your business requires the approval of other government departments, you will have to pay the relevant fees.


An Intelaq license does not allow you to hire staff. However, you are free to purchase the services of contractors if necessary, regardless of their location.


Entrepreneurs Support Services

The entrepreneur relations (ER) team serves entrepreneurs by accelerating business start-up through a variety of services such as guidance on type of business, mode and category of business licensing, reducing business start-up costs, and accessing reduced rate location real space.


The entrepreneur relations team will also assist in obtaining exemptions or fee reductions for government services.


Legal Services Offered to SME members:

  • Issuance of Trade license with Local Fees exemption (which includes Department of Economic Development and Dubai Municipality) for three years from the date of issuance of license (does not include fees imposed by Federal entities). Annual renewal for licenses with minimal Fees for renewals, or amendments to the license.
  • Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry membership for three years.
  • To obtain The Renewal of labour Guarantee Exemption subject to satisfying the terms and conditions, with the exception of (contraction, general maintenance, security companies, oilfield services, cleaning companies, manpower supply companies).
  • To obtain a discount on leasing premises from governmental & semi government entities for example( AWQAF,DUBAI PROPERTIES,TECOM,UNION CORPERATION,ASWAQ
  • Provide the necessary support in government entities in terms of simplifying the process and procedures for the company.


Membership Criteria / Conditions:


  • Business is located in Dubai.
  • 100 % owned and managed by a UAE National.
  • If the application is for an existing business, it should not exceed three years since startup.
  • During exemption period only one license will be issued, another license could be obtained by the member if the activities of the new license are compatible to the first license.
  • Number of Trade licenses issued per applicant prior to submitting membership application should not exceed four (4).


Hamdan Innovation Incubator HI2

The Hamdan Innovator and Incubator is established by the Mohammad Bin Rashid establishment. At HI2, our vision is to empower Dubai as the entrepreneurial capital of the region. We help entrepreneurs start a business in any sector with strategy, establishment and tangible growth. We have a track record of over 10 years of enabling entrepreneurs.

We provide both hardware and software. Software comprises of a powerful intellectual infrastructure of 10 years of experience with 500 companies established Dubai SME. Our low-cost hardware is made of 20,000 sq. feet of space that can accommodate 60+ companies.

Our goal is simple: foster locally driven businesses run by Emirati entrepreneurs. We do this by working with committed entrepreneurs to test the viability of their business idea, in order to actualize it by providing space and on-going support for sustained growth. Our processes involve the Idea Lab, the Incubator and Seed Fund. In the Idea Lab, you develop the business model of your idea. In the Incubator, you execute it. Seed Capital is the special window for accessing early-stage capital.

In addition to that, HI2 provides several development and support services and facilities such as: business development advisory services, a special lab for creating products and inventions prototypes, a multimedia lab, 3D printers, meeting rooms, strategic partners, and a very busy schedule of activities and events.


For more information about HI2 services please visit our website and don't hesitate to contact us:


The Fund

One of the Establishment's key objectives is to help address the challenges of the funding gap for Small/ Medium enterprises and make capital available to them on a per-need basis.


A key objective of SME is to address the challenges of accessing finance for start-up small [& medium size enterprises. Many aspiring entrepreneurs often fail to secure the initial star-up funding needed for their business. SME has a variety of financing programs to ease this challenge and facilitate the new business of entrepreneurs. The application procedure for financial support, both for potential and existing entrepreneurs, requires a detailed business plan.


The criteria for considering projects for financial support takes into account, commitment of the entrepreneur, financial parameters, uniqueness of business idea and model, entrepreneurial sensitivity to the challenges of start-up and Growth, business risk and quality of the business plan.


Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy

Helping the Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow Grow


Successful entrepreneurs all share one common quality – the ability to adapt and evolve to the rapidly changing business environment. Being a successful business owner requires you to be constantly upgrading your skills and knowledge, keeping your company ahead of the trends and adjust to the changing times.


At Dubai SME, we help budding and experience entrepreneurs alike develop the skillset they need to thrive by delivering relevant information, seminars, workshops and other opportunities to learn, grow and network with ambitious, like-minded individuals.


Explore our extensive collection of educational resources and tests designed to nurture your entrepreneurial and managerial talents. In additional to assessing your personal readiness to launch your very own brand and company, we also help you identify opportunities in the marketplace, evaluate risks and develop business plans.


Whether you're a first-time entrepreneur or a seasoned start-up engineer, we'll help you enhance your business skills and help turn your vision into a reality.


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