Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 on economic sectors across the globe, the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry has concluded 2020 by focusing its efforts on supporting businesses and encouraging investments in Abu Dhabi for the private sector to become a strategic partner in a number of achievements on the economic scene.
His Excellency Mohamed Helal Al Mheiri, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Chamber, said that since the beginning of the pandemic the Chamber was able to prove its position as a pioneering establishment that supports, promotes, develops and protects the interests of businesses considering it the voice of the business community in Abu Dhabi.
“Thanks to its advanced infrastructure and technologies, the Abu Dhabi Chamber was amongst the first establishments in its digital transformation giving the opportunity for its members to perform all their requests and transactions remotely with ease and efficiency, especially during pandemic lockdown,” Al Mheiri said.
“Thanks to our wise leadership and their foresight, and coping with the measures taken by the UAE in general and the government of Abu Dhabi in particular, the Abu Dhabi Chamber was able to execute a number of initiatives aimed at encouraging businesses to confront the pandemic effectively,” he added.
“Our wise leadership has shown high levels of efficacy and effectiveness in dealing with the different emergencies and challenges as well as risk management with swiftness and resilience by launching national initiatives that contributed to the sustainable development in all sectors topping world countries in competitiveness indexes. It is the country that does not know the impossible and the one that can turn challenges into opportunities and accomplishments,” The Director General remarked.
Al Mheiri emphasized that the Chamber has adopted the latest technologies and solutions and smart tools to achieve its objectives and that all its departments are working in complete harmony according to the directives of the higher management of the Chamber.
The Abu Dhabi Chamber kicked off 2020 by a spectacle launch of its new website, which included extensive information about the Chamber’s role in supporting trade and industrial businesses. The website also included a comprehensive and complete list of services and reliable sources for a large number of economic sectors.
In addition, the Abu Dhabi Chamber has obtained the membership of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry – UFI, which is a certification that is granted for the first time for a chamber of commerce in the world. This recognition comes through the certification of the he International Franchise Exhibition – Abu Dhabi (IFE), which Abu Dhabi organizes annually in in partnership with the Emirates Association for Franchise Development (FAD).
Abu Dhabi School of management (ADSM), a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Chamber, has announced that it has been awarded the Business Graduate Association (BGA) Validation for the full three-year period. With this achievement, ADSM has reached a significant milestone in its journey to obtain international recognition, which would allow it to reach new levels of research and development as well as academic innovation.
Within its endeavor to streamline community work, ensure a prosperous future for the succeeding generations, and to strengthen its partnership with the businesses sector, the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry has announced the adoption of three sustainable development goals. The three goals are supporting equal opportunities and contributing to the development of strong and diverse economy; realizing the highest levels of gender equality and women empowerment; and working for peace, justice and strong institutions.
The digital platform of the Abu Dhabi Chamber has handled more than 23,460 transactions since its launch in 2020. Moreover, the Events Section at the Chamber has organized more than 70 webinars and online events, whereas the Department of Delegation and International Representation has held 14 business meetings and events.
In addition, the Abu Dhabi Chamber has held more than 22 diplomatic virtual meetings to draw a comprehensive picture of the impact of the pandemic on the global economy and introduce the efforts and initiatives of the Chamber in supporting businesses in Abu Dhabi.
Within its endeavor to support and empower women, the Chamber, through the Abu Dhabi Businesswomen Council, has executed more than 116 diverse events in 2020 with more than 7,296 women taking part in the events. The number of Mubdia’a license holders rose to 784 in 2020.
The Chamber also worked closely with its strategic partners to open new communication channels between the public sector and the private one and to propose solutions on how to meet the demands of businesses and support their continuity while adhering to the general health and safety measure.
Other initiatives also included urgent meetings with the Chamber’s Support Committees to identify the key challenges some key sectors face including the workers cities sector and the tourism sector.
The Chamber has also, since the beginning of the pandemic, engaged with a number of business councils in Abu Dhabi to discuss the challenges of the current crisis. The Abu Dhabi Chamber and a multi-nation group of business councils and chambers based in Abu Dhabi have joined forces to engage with the UAE government and work collectively to ensure business continuity in the UAE.
One of the most important initiatives the Abu Dhabi Chamber launched in 2020 is the Chamber Talk Program, which is tailored specifically by the biggest international consultation firms to raise awareness on the best ways of dealing with the impacts of pandemic on businesses. Chamber Talk initiative has shaped the concept of communication into new forms. The program is the perfect interactive platform that brought key and critical economic topics to the table and a large number of businesses in the UAE and abroad reacted positively to this initiative. The 23 sessions of the program hosted 39 high profile speakers and attracted more than 4,500 attendees.
Another initiative taken by the Abu Dhabi Chamber is the organization of Abu Dhabi-Korea Healthcare Week in cooperation with the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, Mubadala Healthcare, SEHA, Korea International Trade Association (KITA), Gangnam Ju Region Office and the Ministry of SMEs and Startups in Korea. The event witnessed the participation of more than 500 companies and entrepreneurs operating in the healthcare sector and brought more than 180 healthcare suppliers from the UAE and Korea under one roof.
Despite 2020 being full of economic challenges, but the Abu Dhabi Chamber kept on executing its award initiatives for the business sector in general by organizing Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award, which witnessed the participation of 770 local and GCC companies, 56 of which were nominated.
Other awards included the organization of Abu Dhabi Chamber SME Award and the Future Entrepreneurs Award, which were executed virtually online in an attempt to enhance the performance of businesses and support their productivity and profitability.
The Chamber also offers many bespoke services for businesses including Certificates of Origin, of which the Chamber issued 20,065 electronic certificates for export and re-export.
Meanwhile, the number of the Chamber’s new registered memberships reached 19,183, whereas 67,727 memberships were renewed.
A number of centers and sectors are affiliated to the Abu Dhabi Chamber including the Innovation and Business Development Sector, which conducted 2,388 workshops and consultations for more than 4690 entrepreneurs and interested individuals. The Chamber holds such workshops in an attempt to support SMEs and businesses as a whole.
In addition, the Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Centre received 50 cased, of which 38 cases were settled amicably, whereas the value of the treated cases by the center exceeded AED 2,677 billion.
The Abu Dhabi School of Management (ADSM) also provided four academic master programs approved by the Ministry of Education – Higher Education Affairs with 337 students attending these programs during the academic year 2019-2020, whereas the number of graduates reached 1,001 since its inauguration. On the other hand, the UAE Academy conducted 54 training courses and programs on diverse specialties with 711 trainees attending. The Academy also launched and presented three National Qualifications Programs on Diploma in Business for around 100 students and launched an online training platform for students as well.