Expo 2020 Dubai offering SMEs an opportunity to Meet the Buyers
Representatives of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will get a chance to showcase their firms to procurement staff from Expo 2020 Dubai and some of its largest contractors at an event next week.
The first in a series of Meet the Buyers events will take place on 10 May in Dubai, where SMEs can gain valuable insight into the process of awarding billions of dirhams worth of contracts and sub-contracts in their sector–then meet the people face to face who will be deciding on the deals.
“This is an unmissable opportunity for SMEs to make an impression on the procurement teams of both Expo and our main contractors and to have inclusive and collaborative discussions about innovation and best practice. This series of events is aimed at supporting them as they bid for the AED 5 billion worth of contracts that will be awarded to the sector. Already, nearly half of all contracts, a total of 765, have been awarded to SMEs by Expo 2020 Dubai,” said Manal AlBayat, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Integration at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Expo 2020 Dubai is committed to supporting the SME sector across the region as part of its plans for a long lasting economic legacy. Last year, it announced that 20 per cent of direct and indirect spend for the Expo, representing AED 5 billion in contracts, would be awarded to SMEs.
This year alone, more than AED 11 billion in construction contracts and a further AED 360 million in non-construction contracts will be awarded by Expo 2020 Dubai – more than AED 2 billion of which will be passed on to SMEs over the course of the deals.
Procurement teams for construction awards will attend the Meet the Buyer event on 10 May, as well as non-construction awards, such as event management and operations and marketing and communications. Among the other award areas are logistics, facilities management, vehicles - including alternative fuelled, mechanical handling equipment, warehousing and technology. The buyers will include representatives of Al-Futtaim Carillion, a Dubai-based company that was awarded an AED 2.2 billion contract earlier this year to be the main contractor for the three Theme Districts at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Some 200 attendees will get the chance to pitch to each of the representatives in ‘speed networking’ at the event.
Expo 2020 Dubai has also made enhancements to Expo’s procurement processes to ensure SMEs can compete on a level playing field for contracts. These include the removal of requirements for tender bonds or advanced payment guarantees, a 50 per cent advanced payment to SMEs for goods and materials, as well as a 25 per cent contribution ahead of delivery for services.
“Our commitment to SMEs is not just about awarding contracts, it is also about connecting them with other companies and organisations and building relationships that will help them grow. In other words, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, our core ambition,” said AlBayat.
The next World Expo will be the first in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. It opens in October 2020 and closes six months later in April 2021. Millions of visitors are expected and more than 180 countries will participate at the global destination.
The Meet the Buyers event is the latest initiative of Expo to work with businesses ahead of 2020 by facilitating networking through opening the supply chain, allowing dialogue, exchanging ideas, sharing expertise and enabling SMES to sell and deliver the best solutions.