They may be small, but there is no doubting the size of their impact on the economy.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for 95 per cent of the total businesses in Dubai and employ 40 per cent of the workforce in the emirate.
The 100 best performing and fastest-growing SMEs were revealed for the first time yesterday. Together, their combined turnover is estimated at Dh2.3 billion (US$626.1 million), with total assets of Dh1.4bn and profit of Dh220m.
The ranking is based on growth performance, financial soundness, innovation, human capital development, international orientation and corporate excellence.
"By ranking and recognising the top SMEs, we are opening several fronts," said Abdul Baset Al Janahi, the chief executive of Dubai SME, part of the Department of Economic Development. "This will help SMEs gain additional external capital, new talents, markets and brand enhancements."
The top five are Dimensions Healthcare, Ecobility Energy Solutions, propertyfinder.ae, Intercoil International and Mepco Gulf, while other companies to secure a place included e-Home Automation International, Micro Automation, German Imaging Technologies and Innovative Human Resource Solutions.
Dimensions Healthcare, an IT company and consulting firm specialising in the health sector, came out on top.
Dr Omar Ghosheh, the company founder and chief executive, said being recognised as the best would open doors for the firm.
"We think we have very interesting solutions that we can take to the whole world, so we hope that the SME 100 is a stage that we can show our products," he added.
On Time, an Emirati-owned government and corporate services provider with global ambitions, was 10th on the list.
"This is only the beginning of a long, long journey. It is ewasy to get the reward and be in the top 10, but to maintain success is not easy," said Waleid Abdulkareim, the chairman of On Time.
For Michael Lahyani, the chief executive and founder of the property portal propertyfinder.ae, being named third on the list means it will be easier to secure financing in the future.
"When we walk into a banking institution and are asked 'who are you guys? And why should we lend you money?' [we can say] well we have been part of SME 100 and we're number three. If you're not going to lend to us, who are you going to lend to?'"