Growth of Startups in Dubai

by Zaara 24, Oct 2019

Startups! There’s a particular degree of excitement associated with the word, and why not? The idea of taking an abstract concept and transforming it into a viable business is inherently exciting, and governments around the world are increasingly looking at new SMEs as the answer to long-term economic growth and employment.

The United Arab Emirates has a thriving economy and advances in technology are opening up exciting new opportunities for entrepreneurs. Some sectors, of course, are hotter than others. It is the shining drawcard for entrepreneurs. The UAE startup sector has come a long way and now developed into a robust diversified ecosystem in the MENA area as investments flow from outside declaring that worldwide investors and VCs eye the cut in the nation's success story.

One of its Emirates, Dubai, has been a go-to stop for both holidaymakers and experts seeking greener pastures abroad. The Emirate's decision to expand its economy with a substantial investment in tourism infrastructure and a pleasant corporate tax system has propelled Dubai to one of the five fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the world, while also playing a critical role in boosting its post-oil economy.

If you are starting a business, Dubai is undoubtedly the business hub of choices in the Middle-East region.

Dubai’s Growing Startup Culture

Dubai’s growing startup culture makes it an entrepreneur-friendly location. Dubai has a growing network of thought incubators, leaders, entrepreneurs, and the private sector. The strategic geographic location to key markets is making the Emirate a notable destination for start-ups. Innovation and Creativity stay the focal point of Dubai's initiatives to maintain its stature as one of the world's best smart cities. Apart from this, there are a few more advantages to look forward to, they are-

  • Government’s pro-business initiatives and incentives towards entrepreneurship and startup culture
  • The strategic location of the Emirate as it connects the East and the West
  • Easy access to the international market
  • Easy start-up and company formation process
  • State-of-art infrastructure facilities and free zones

And as per the Global Entrepreneurship Index, UAE is ranked 26th globally and the third in the MENA region in 2018. Studies also indicate that the majority of the Startups in Dubai are e-commerce, marketplaces, and infrastructure/software as a service.

Startups Support in Dubai

There are many incentives and initiatives by the government that help startups grow in Dubai to a large extent. There are many incubators that provide infrastructural support for startups like, Turn8, ImpactHub, and AstroLabs etc. They support in providing the right platform for entrepreneurs with interesting business ideas to create, work, and test product ideas. There are many free zones dedicated especially to startups and their growth like the Dubai Silicon Oasis, Fujairah Free Zones, Dubai Media City Free zone, DMCC, etc.

DED Dubai's has a primary objective to give a supportive environment for creativity and excellence while assisting in promoting a section that is fitting for investing and bringing in regional and international businesses. They are striving to be supportive of several startups in helping them set up and then succeed in their processes. DED provides all required information comprehensively on their website. Some of the examples of these initiatives are as follows-

  • The Dubai government has supported to renew their licenses within the due date that has ended in the year 2018
  • Another initiative was declared helping with fines and licenses in times to come by permitting companies to pay fines and renewal fees in easy monthly installments and allowing them to shelve their trade license if required for up to a year
  • A Commercial Compliance Package is outlined with a vision to notify business people and steer them to operating excellence
  • The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has a website especially for startups hub providing helpful guidance for new enterprises
  • Tejar Dubai is an entrepreneurs development program that has been created to find and develop promising business people between 18 to 35 in the UAE
  • Dubai Chamber has also partnered with Google to offer a competitive edge to its member in terms of being found online


With everyone’s support, an investor-friendly business environment, world-class infrastructure, and the gutsy startup founders- Dubai is emerging as a prominent tech hub in the region. Every startup’s ecosystem has its hurdles and drawbacks. However, there’s no denying Dubai’s rising status as a significant city for tech and global innovation.

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