Posted on May 28, 2017

In recognition of the development organization’s leading position in creating a series of direct and indirect financial assistance programs for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Qatar Development Bank (QDB) was named “Best SME Loan” during the Arab Banks Awards and Commendations of Excellence 2017.

The award ceremony was organized by the World Union of Arab Bankers in Beirut, where it was attended by senior bankers, business community representatives and banking sector magnates from various regional and international financial institutions. In appreciation of the efforts made in financing and developing SMEs, World Union of Arab Bankers, represented by Chairman, Dr. Joseph Torbey, and Secretary General, Wissam H. Fattouh, delivered the honorary shield to the QDB.

Commenting on the award, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al-Khalifa said: "We are proud of this award which underscores Qatar Development Bank's regional and international excellence in the financing and development of SMEs. Increasingly, due to the development of the right type of support programs, our Qatari companies are beginning to find their rightful place alongside larger, more global companies, and this achievement strengthens our belief that we are on the right track. One case-in-point of a financial program we have developed – which is at the forefront of our SME empowerment strategy – is Al Dhameen, which today, has a portfolio of QAR 1.224 billion.”

"The winning of this award is a resounding confirmation that our assistance is truly benefitting SMEs, which are a strength for our national economy, and presently, are on their way to becoming one of the main sources of national income diversification, in line with the objectives outlined in the Qatar National Vision 2030."

In 2016, QDB’s Al Dhameen program was awarded "Best Financing Program for SMEs in the GCC," a recognition which is awarded to institutions and banks that contribute to the financing of value-added projects for the national economy. As an institution, QDB was named the “Best Development Bank” during the Banker Middle East Industry Awards. Notably, International Trade Center (ITC), a joint agency of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), recently nominated QDB for the 2016 Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Award, under the category of the best development agency in a developing country. Incidentally, QDB was the sole development agency shortlisted from amongst the countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

To promote the private sector, QDB extends wide-ranging financial and non-financial support to entrepreneurs across a myriad of industries. During the year 2016, its total direct financing amounted to QAR 6 billion, while the portfolio of its indirect financing service stood at QAR 1.224 billion. The development organization also recently launched its Seed Fund investment program, which is the first of its kind in the Gulf region. The investment program is designed to assist entrepreneurs and their projects by providing financing, sharing capital, risks and profits, thus alleviating the financial burden on emerging local companies.