UAE is known for its Fuel Industry for quite some time now. It was not until last year when we heard that Abu Dhabi was investing $250 million on the Tech Startups pan UAE. They are now focusing on marking UAE as an Innovation and Tech-Hub by encouraging all the entrepreneurs.

Not only does UAE have an abundance of innovation, entrepreneurship, and talent, but the availability of funding and infrastructure also adds the cherry on the top. The Government and various Investors are hell-bent on promoting high-tech startups.

 A recent report by Magnitt tells us how the investments in startups in Mena shot up from 13% in 2018 to 31% in 2019 that had a total of 564 investments and total funding of 704 million dollars.

To bring about clarity on this perspective, 15 million dollars were put into funding in 5 various ventures. That is, the total CAGR of this funding was 47%, whereas there has been an increase of 60% CAGR over the past 10 years.

The Emerging Startups Landscape of UAE in 2020 1

Philip Bahoshy, Founder and CEO of Magnitt said, “With exits at an all-time high, including the Mena region’s first unicorn exit, the region’s founders, investors, and governments are seeing the returns on their efforts in the tech venture space.”

Apart from the private investments, the Government of UAE has also sought schemes and incentives to engage professionals that belong to all the small and medium scale business enterprises. This makes sure that the entire economy is not dependent on the energy industry. They also allow flexibility to entrepreneurs belonging outside of UAE to be 100% shareholders of the particular company. Besides, since 2018, the UAE government has been actively issuing 5-year visas to entrepreneurs.

Wamda’s report in collaboration with STEP Conference showed that the UAE was ahead of several countries with 26.5% in sectors ranging from E-commerce, Fintech, Healthcare, and Marketplaces. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Machine Learning have been the most used technologies in all these sectors.

Ray Dargham, CEO of STEP said,” The findings generated from the report are a testimony of the great achievements the region has been undergoing in graduating business ideas and creative companies.It also shows that the UAE has become the home for start-ups to set up their businesses.”

 He also stated that “This falls in line with the UAE’s vision to become the preferred destination for global talents and entrepreneurs, through many initiatives and projects aimed at turning Dubai into a nexus for business and an integrated investment environment.” This survey also brought insights into how the majority of the startup crowd is university educated and people aged between 25-35 to have substantial participation in the corporate world.

It is important to encourage entrepreneurship that adds to a country’s economy. Now, with all the opportunities provided by the Government as well as the privately held investors, people are allowed to expand their ideas in the middle east. This makes UAE one of the most desirable destinations for startups and  SMEs that want to scale up in 2020.