The UAE has certainly attained the title of being a ‘global hub’ given its knack to attract the best from all over the world, offering a platform for anyone who has innovation to be brought forth, or help bring disruption to create better lifestyle solutions for residents.
On this World Entrepreneurs Day (WED), it is very obvious that in the UAE, everyday is a World Entrepreneurs’ Day!
The Dubai Future Foundation’s (DFF) mandate is to make Dubai the birthplace for exponential technologies that will shape the course of humanity over the next century, girded with a mission to imagine, design and create the future by facilitating partnerships between forward thinking entrepreneurs and the government using the city of Dubai as a living testbed. Today, the city is a testimony of how it churns out entrepreneurs every moment.
Dubai Future Accelerator (DFA), which is under DFF has a mandate of pairing the world’s most exciting technology companies with leading government organisations to create transformational solutions. It is an intensive nine-week programme and its third initiative has received almost 1,000 applications from companies all over the world to offer innovative solutions.
“The UAE is striving to become a global capital of innovation. At its core are inspiring entrepreneurs who have the drive to make their aspirations a reality, and who are an integral part of this movement. May the UAE entrepreneurs continue to hustle humbly, communicate sincerely, learn wisely and lead altruistically,” says Sonia Weymuller, founding partner of VentureSouq.
The UAE’s leadership is largely responsible in creating an environment that embraces entrepreneurship, innovation and digital adoption. This is led by various government initiatives coupled with a young, adept and highly-savvy population. The region’s digital revolution is giving birth to a digital economy. Embracing entrepreneurs as well as creating a “digital friendly” environment is proving to be an effective strategy for the UAE government, and is helping attract regional and international investments, said Antoine Massad, chairman of AJM International and chairman of Beco Holdings.
Massad, who has been ranked among the top active VCs in the region says for investors looking to invest in the Middle East, Dubai is where it all starts, having established itself as the land of opportunities for the region, across many sectors and segments. More and more investments will be channelled to UAE-based startups and what we have seen is just the beginning,’ he he said
A recent MAGNiTT research shows that the UAE hosts 50 per cent of the Mena region’s top funded start-ups. I believe that what we are seeing today is just the beginning of a trend and that more and more regional and international investors and VCs would want a piece of the action, he notes. This was shown to be true over the past few years and more recently, with VCs’ and strategics’ money chasing promising and successful Dubai-based technology/digital businesses, such as Careem and Souq. Chinese Didi Chuxing and Saudi Kingdom Holdings have both announced investments in Careem and US based Amazon recently acquired Souq.
“Dubai is on a path to establishing itself as the regional hub for yet another industry, venture capital. One more reason for international and regional investors as well as technology start-ups to want to be part of the Dubai success story. A diverse type of investors, whether these are angels, venture capitalists, strategic, etc are all now looking at Dubai as their gateway to the Middle East. Scale and scalability are some of the many reasons attracting investors to the UAE. Scale will influence the success of most digital businesses and we’ve seen how some Dubai-based start-ups are capable of scaling up into the the region and sometimes well beyond. The regional digital revolution is starting to take shape with a vast majority of the ‘happenings’ born in and out of the UAE. Experienced investors tend to want to come in early,” added Massad.
BulkWhiz a startup venture recently set up by Amira Rashad, says: “There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. Technology has placed in the palm of our hands the knowledge base and communication reach that only states and Fortune 500 corporations could have access to just a couple of decades ago. It is now up to us, as entrepreneurs, to will and execute flawlessly upon our visions of a better, more efficient and more enjoyable life for all. At BulkWhiz, this means building state of the art artificial intelligence technology, right here at home, to simplify the way we buy, and give families back precious quality time to enjoy with loved ones away from the hassles of daily life. Our journey has just begun, and we could not be more excited to be part of the UAE entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; one of the leading global hubs.”
Reference: D’Mello, Sandhya. “In the UAE, everyday is World Entrepreneurs’ Day!” Khaleejtimes.com https://www.khaleejtimes.com/in-the-uae-everyday-is-world-entrepreneurs-day (accessed August 21, 2017)