The lender also stated that it would finally set up a register of SME assets – the Emirates Movable Collateral Registry Corporation – from January 2018.

Ankush is a journalist hailing from India, who has edited and written for publications in his home country, the UAE, US, and UK. Previously the editor of Gulf Business in Dubai and of Entrepreneur in India, Ankush is a keen student of economics, a follower of Manchester United since 1996 and a disciple of Archer.

The UAE’s primary government lender will allocate a majority of its budget next year to support the country’s under pressure small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector.

Emirates Development Bank (EDB), which lends only to Emiratis, has allocated Dhs450 million of its Dhs1 billion budget for next year to boost the country’s SME sector, it said in a statement.

The lender also stated that it would finally set up a register of SME assets – the Emirates Movable Collateral Registry Corporation – from January 2018 to help these SMEs secure loans.

The registry would provide a nationwide register of SMEs’ movable assets including vehicles, equipment, and accounts receivables that companies could use to borrow against.

“This gives companies a greater finance opportunity at a lower cost,” the bank said.

According to the EDB, the Dhs450 million of enterprise finance includes Dhs100m allocated to banks participating in the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund.

The fund issues bank guarantees to help finance entrepreneurs in the creative sector.

The UAE has a target of 70% as the contribution of the SME sector to the country’s non-oil GDP growth by 2021, though small firms in the country have been hit hard by an economic downturn, canceled contracts, and late payments.