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Nasdaq Dubai to launch Growth Market

To help SMEs expand in the region

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Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market, a new market under the umbrella of Nasdaq Dubai, will be launched in 2021 to help young businesses and small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) achieve the next phase of their expansion by raising capital through an initial public offering (IPO).

The launch comes under the framework of the Dubai Future District initiatives, which is the largest specialized area in the region for creating the future economy by providing an investment, technical, legislative, service, and incentive environment. The district links Emirates Towers with the Dubai World Trade Center and the Dubai International Financial Center.

The Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market will enable fast-growing companies to achieve a streamlined and cost-effective listing on the region’s international exchange. As part of the Dubai Future District project, the Growth Market will welcome not only companies from the UAE, but also from around the world to help them expand in the region and internationally.

The Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market will add further momentum to Dubai and the UAE’s established role as the Middle East’s hub for business and finance and will serve as an ideal incubator for innovative projects.

The Growth Market is set to play a key role in the future of capital-raising and the channeling of investment to enterprising companies to enable them to succeed during all phases of the business cycle supported by their Dubai listing.

The Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market has been strategically designed to attract a wide range of companies across a variety of sectors and geographies, with a straightforward listing process to provide a seamless journey to going public.

Affording innovation-driven enterprises access to new capital and funding, this new market further enhances Dubai Future District’s integrated ecosystem and business growth infrastructure for new startups and SMEs to work, live and thrive in the heart of Dubai.

It strengthens Dubai's leadership in supporting the innovation and entrepreneurship system.

The Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market allows SMEs to list their businesses if they are valued below USD 250 million. A minimum operating history of just one year is required, compared to three years for Nasdaq Dubai’s main market.

Nasdaq Dubai is collaborating with government bodies, UAE free zones, and expert advisory companies as partners to launch the Growth Market. The advisors will include financial advisory firms, investment banks, law and accounting firms which will provide tailored support including pre-IPO awareness and readiness exercises.

Like Nasdaq Dubai’s main equity market, the Growth Market will allow owners of an enterprise to carry out their IPO while selling as little as 25 percent of the shares in their company, enabling them to keep control.

Nasdaq Dubai intends to launch the Growth Market in early 2021 in line with the first IPOs. A number of companies have already appointed advisors to begin the IPO process. The creation of the Growth Market has been facilitated by developments in the regulatory framework supporting the exchange announced in April 2020 by Dubai Financial Services Authority, following consultation with market participants.

Companies that are not ready for an IPO will be able to join the Private Market segment of the Growth Market. On the Private Market, a company’s shares are held for safekeeping in Nasdaq Dubai’s Central Securities Depository. This is designed to give confidence to investors and moves the company into an exchange environment ahead of a potential listing.