Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, honoured 32 companies that were named winners of the ninth cycle of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MRM) Business Award and the first cycle of the MRM Business Innovation Award at a ceremony held in Dubai on Tuesday.

The ceremony was hosted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, chairman, Dubai Chamber, said the Chamber launched the MRM Business Award in 2005 as a mechanism to drive institutional performance and measure business excellence within the UAE, adding that award has expanded significantly since then with more than 1,400 companies across the GCC participating in the programme.

The Outstanding Award for Business Excellence went to DP World (UAE), while Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank won the Outstanding Award for Business Innovation.

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy and chairman of the panel of judges for the MRM Business Award and the MRM Business Innovation Award, said participating companies have integrated best-in-class practices into their business models, operations and activities, enabling them to improve performance and boost their competitiveness.

Al Mansouri announced that the UAE Ministry of Economy is planning to launch the Social Innovation Award, which will include seven sectors identified by the National Innovation Strategy, namely renewable energy, transport, healthcare, education, technology, water and space. The new award, which supports the UAE’s Year of Giving initiative, aims to encourage and advance scientific, social, industrial and commercial innovation, research and development in the UAE. Award winners will be honoured at a ceremony in December 2017.

Hamad Buamim, president and CEO, Dubai Chamber, and chairman of the steering committee for the MRM Business Award, said driving innovation within the private sector is a key focus of the Chamber’s new strategy for 2017-2021, adding that innovation has become a necessity for businesses to compete in fast-changing markets.

The next cycle of the Awards would focus on the theme of happiness and positivity. The initiative will be launched in coordination with Ohood Al Roumi, UAE State Minister for Happiness, and support the National Happiness and Positivity Charter.

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