About the SME Awards

According to UAE Ministry of Economy, the SMEs sector represents more than 94 per cent of the total number of companies operating in the country and provide jobs for more than 86 per cent of the private sector's workforce. In Dubai alone, SMEs make up nearly 95 per cent of all companies, employing 42 per cent of the workforce and contributing around 40 per cent to Dubai's GDP.

The UAE Government, along with other regional governments have the ambition to enhance the contribution and performance of the SME sector.

Launched in 2012, the team behind the SME Awards, with the support of founding partner Gulf Capital,  has dedicated its energy and effort into identifying the SME growth champions.  The organisations and people who are contributing to the ongoing development of this critical and challenging part of the region's economy.

The awards provide a unique platform for SME’s to raise their profile, brands, products and services.

The Awards identify start-ups, innovative SME’s with exemplary products and services, the SME’s who invest in their employees’ environments, customer strategies and the visionary entrepreneurs leading them.

And for the first time, the 2020 edition of the Gulf Capital SME Awards, is open for entrants from across the GCC region, making this one of the biggest platforms dedicated to celebrating the success and achievements of entrepreneurs and SMEs that have helped shaped the region's modern economy.

Why Enter

The Gulf Capital SME Awards have been running for 8 consecutive years throughout which we have supported the UAEs growing SME community.

As the importance of SMEs to the UAE economy has amplified, their impact has simultaneously also transformed the economies of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.

And that is why the 2020 edition of the awards are now open to entrants from across the GCC region.

The awards process from entry through to post-event coverage is your opportunity not just to join a community of like-minded professionals but to also be a part of a vital conversation. At varying stages of the awards cycle, you can expect to…

  1. Win more work by showcasing your innovative, high-quality products and services to our sponsors, judges and the wider community of business professionals that we access.
  2. Publicity and brand awareness through an established PR and marketing campaign that achieves a PR value of $897,127 we ensure that GCC-based SMEs get a real boost. Finalists will be named in our Press Releases and on the night the regional media will be in attendance to interview the ultimate winners
  3. Network with a thriving regional business community of industry experts, peers, advisors, and potential investors courtesy of the association with Gulf  Capital, MEED and their valued partners
  4. Learn by participating in a community of passionate, like-minded peers and advisors, through face to face judging and the awards ceremony connect and learn from professionals who understand the challenges that SMEs face and can help unlock opportunity
  5. Celebrate all your hard work. SME owners rarely stop.  This is a moment to bring teams, stakeholders and often family together to celebrate your achievements so far
  6. Benchmarking gain non-biased external validation and verification of your ideas and business

How to Enter?

Create an online account
Visit smeawards.meed.com/submit-entry to create an account and view the entry requirements for each category.

Choose your category/ categories
There are 16 categories in total and there is no limit to the number of these you may enter.

Enter your details
Following the criteria guidelines, complete your entry response and upload any relevant supporting material/links. Make sure you provide yourself enough time to think and not rush your response.

Submit your entry
Once complete, submit your entry before 12th April, 2020. It is free to enter as many categories as you like.


Categories and Entry Forms

  • Gulf Capital Business of the Year

  • Business Leader of the Year

  • Business Innovation of the Year

  • B2C Small Business of the Year

  • B2B Small Business of the Year

  • CSR Programme of the Year

  • Customer Focus of the Year

  • Digital Business of the Year

  • Disruption of the Year

  • Emirati Business of the Year

  • Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Micro Business of the Year

  • New Entrepreneur of the Year

  • People and Culture of the Year

  • Start-up Business of the Year

  • Sustainable Business of the Year

  • Technology startup of the year

2020 Judges

In Association With

Official Headline Sponsor


Audit Partner

Association Partners

Association partner
Association Partner
Association partner
Association Partner
Association Partner

Communication Partner

Endorsing Partner

Knowledge and Research Partner

Leadership Partner

Strategic Partner


Contact Us


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For general enquiries, entry and registration queries: awards@meed.com

For marketing, partnership, and sponsorship enquiries: sharath.ravi@meed.com