XpertLearning named finalist – Gulf Capital SME Awards 2016

Dubai, United Arab Emirates;  28 July 2016 – The finalists for the 2016 Gulf Capital SME Awards organised by MEED have been announced; 47 companies will now go on to compete to win in 13 categories.

In its fifth year, the Gulf Capital SME Awards, recognises success, growth and innovation in business. Judges were searching for customer focus, outstanding leaders and entrepreneurs and strong financial performance.

The shortlisted SMEs represent a wide range of sectors, in particular construction, real estate, retail and education. Other finalists are involved in the information technology, renewable energy, finance and consultancy sectors, reflecting the diversity of the UAE economy.
Seven finalists will compete for the prestigious Gulf Capital Business of the Year award, including ATS Travel, Bull&Roo Hospitality and Investments, Enviromena Power Systems, Souqalmal.com, STME and Unique Group.

‘‘The SME sector has been a strong contributor to the UAE’s economy, accounting for 60% of the country’s GDP, with the government giving it a big priority with the aim to boost its share in the national economy to 70%. It is also a key provider of thousands of employment opportunities,” said Dr. Karim El-Solh, Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Capital, one of the leading alternative investment firms in the Middle East and headline sponsor of the annual Gulf Capital SME Awards. “The 2016 finalists for the Gulf Capital SME Awards represent a combined turnover of more than AED1.9bn ($522m). We are delighted to see that the growth of the combined turnover of finalists averaged 199 per cent between 2013 and 2015, with at least seven businesses founded since 2013 seeing growth rates of 200 per cent or more. Gulf Capital is proud to be sponsoring these SME Awards given how important the SMEs’ contribution is to the overall UAE economy.”

Five finalists made the shortlist for the RSA Customer Focus of the Year Award, as diverse as Time Hotels, UrbanBuz’ customer engagement services, Carlease Rent A Car, Innovative HR Solutions, and Q2 General Cleaning Services LLC.

“We have been really impressed with the growth rates presented by entrants despite the economic downturn. A strong theme from this year’s Finalists is the best practice their business leaders have shown”, said Becky Crayman, Programme Director, MEED.
The Business Leader of the Year award has the most finalists, with 11 dynamic and inspiring business leaders vying for the accolade. These include Bin Touq Fire and Safety, Binghatti Developers, Dimara International, MASSAED Installation of Elevators and Escalators, Pure Logic Group, Q2 General Cleaning Services LLC, (Souqalmal.com), SPF Realty, TED COMPUTER SYSTEMS LLC and Unique Group.

A total of eight SMEs are competing in the Small Business of the Year category. The shortlisted SMEs are Beauty Connection Spa, Beehive, Bull&Roo, Carlease Rent A Car, Place Dynamix, Platinum Heritage, Early Years Educational Services, The Accounts Dept. TAD Accounting & Bookkeeping LLC.

Each year, the awards programme organised by MEED also recognises outstanding Emirati owned businesses, in support of the UAE government’s development of the SME sector in the country. The finalists in Emirati Business of the Year, Ajyaal Media FZ LLC, ATS Travel, Beauty Connection Spa, Dimara International

Among newly started businesses, Amazeballs General Trading, BOXknocks FZE LLC, Children’s Lane, Kidz Factory, Marhababy, Ta’leem Training & Skills Development Centre, The Animal Agency have been selected in the Start-up Business of the Year category.
Web-based ventures will also be recognised with the Online Business of the Year award, with the following shortlist of SMEs: AEserver FZE, Beehive, Mini Exchange, Pure Logic Group, and XpertLearning.

Small businesses which have shown evidence of how they have positively impacted the society and the environment have also been shortlisted for the Sustainable Business of the Year award, including 4 Corner General Trading, Home Grown Children’s Eco Nursery, My Ex Wardrobe, Q2 General Cleaning Services LLC, and Platinum Heritage.
Shortlisted for the Entrepreneur of the Year award, include Munir Badr (AEserver FZE), Craig Moore (Beehive), Aswini Kumar Borkotoky (Carlease Rent A Car), Tahir Shah (Moti Roti), and Mahmoud Adham (munchbox).
Competing in the Business Innovation of the Year category, are compareit4me.com and Doctoruna.com.

SMEs which have created a positive working environment and invested in developing its people will also be celebrated in the People and Culture of the Year. The finalists contending for the award include Emitech Technical Services LLC, Innovative HR Solutions, Iqraa Language Center and SPF Realty.

Two new categories – Social Media Campaign of the Year and Marketing Plan of the Year – have been introduced this year to recognise the innovative ways SMEs are seeking to drive growth and customer engagement. The candidates for the trophies include; for Marketing Plan, SPF Realty and BodySmart and for Social Media Campaign, the digital agency, Bruce Clay and their client, Ithaca Life and SPF Realty.

MEED thanks our Endorsing Partners, Dubai SME and the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development and also our sponsors, Gulf Capital, RSA Insurance and RAK Free Trade Zone.
The full list of finalists is available online at www.smeawards.meed.com. The shortlisted SMEs will then undergo another round of evaluation by the awards programme’s judging panel. The final set of winners will be announced on 26 October, 2016 at the Conrad in Dubai.

About MEED
MEED is a senior management media brand that encompasses a subscription website and magazine, more than 30 C-level executive conferences and summits hosted by MEED Events, the MEED Quality Awards for Projects and two high-value content businesses, MEED Projects and MEED Insight. MEED Projects is the Middle East’s premium project tracking
database and MEED Insight offers tailored research and in-depth analysis. Established in 1957, MEED, has been integral to delivering business information and news, intelligence and analysis on the Middle East economies and activities ever since.

About Gulf Capital SME Awards
The Gulf Capital SME Awards recognises the UAE’s SMEs, business leaders and entrepreneurs for innovation, growth and success.
For sponsorship opportunities, please contact:
Becky Crayman
Product Director, Awards & Managed Events
P O Box 25960, 20th Floor, Al Thuraya Tower 1, Dubai Media City, Dubai
Tel: 00971 (0) 4 8180314| M : 00971 (0) 505590713 | E: becky.crayman@meed.com
For marketing and event inquiries, please contact:
Genevieve Banks
Marketing Manager
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Tel: 00971 (0) 4 818 0289| M : 00971 (0) 50 5535 272 | E: genevieve.banks@meed.com
For media inquiries and assistance, please contact:
Anthon Garcia
PR Consultant, MEED Construction Leadership Summit | MEED Quality Awards for Projects
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E: anthongarcia@yahoo.com


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