United Arab Emirates
“Abu Dhabi’s thriving falcon economy is testament to the leadership’s unwavering commitment to enhance a growing, prosperous, and diversified economy, anchored by technological innovations.”
Abu Dhabi is shifting gears from an oil and gas powerhouse to become a world-leading technology and innovation hub. The Abu Dhabi government is investing AED 10 billion ($2.7 billion) to increase non-oil exports by 143% by 2031. The UAE Government aims to develop more than 8,000 SMEs and startups by 2030 with the goal of creating 20 startups valued at more than $1 billion by 2031 as part of its Entrepreneurial Nation initiative.
Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, has grown its startup community to more than 200 companies that have raised more than $1 billion collectively. Hub71+ Digital Assets is a Web3-focused ecosystem with partners who have committed $2 billion of capital globally to fund startups in the Web3 and Blockchain space. In 2022, 51 startups were selected to join Hub71 in Abu Dhabi. To facilitate cross-border growth, Hub71 launched a partnership with GetFundedAfrica, a marketplace that matches startups, investors, corporations, and governments.
In May 2022, the Abu Dhabi Competitiveness Office launched Abu Dhabi Innovates to enhance innovation and boost entrepreneurship. Further Ventures launched a $200 million fund anchored by ADQ, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company that will focus on digital assets, Fintech, and supply-chain startups. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority launched ADIA Lab, an innovation center, in December 2022.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
As of February 2023, there were 79 Fintech startups in Abu Dhabi. The same month, Emirates Islamic launched a global Fintech accelerator in collaboration with Plug and Play Abu Dhabi. In 2022 Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank launched its first API developer portal and First Israeli joined with ADIO’s Innovation Programme to establish a Fintech R&D center in Abu Dhabi. In February 2023, NymCard and Fintech Payment Solutions announced a partnership to bring end-to-end payment solutions in the region.
Agtech & New Food
In February 2023, AeroFarms AgX opened the world's largest R&D indoor vertical farm. The company also signed an agreement with Agtech investor Silal to focus on R&D to commercialize new crops. Accelerator Dana Global promotes female-led Agtech startups tackling food insecurity in the UAE and MENA. In December 2022, it announced a partnership with Silal to attract Agtech innovation to Abu Dhabi’s ecosystem. Masdar City and Dana are also building a beta site for relevant pre-seed and Series A startups.
Masdar City is a special economic zone with a focus on Cleantech and renewable energy. Abu Dhabi’s fastest growing free zone, it provides easy registration and licensing, 100% foreign ownership, full repatriation of capital and profits, and exemption from taxes. Hub71 partnered with AIQ, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s AI joint venture with Group 42, to explore AI solutions to support a sustainable energy future. Hub71 also signed a partnership with Siemens Energy to support Cleantech startups.
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Abu Dhabi
The UAE Golden Visa is a long-term residency visa that enables foreign nationals to live, work, and study in Abu Dhabi without the need of a national sponsor and with 100% ownership of their business. Each Golden Visa is valid for a renewable period of five or 10 years, depending on the visa category.
Abu Dhabi has flexible health insurance for foreign entrepreneurs and investors who work in the private sector and their families, provided that their monthly income exceeds AED 5,000 ($1,400). Hub71 provides 100% subsidized incentives for seed-stage startups that have raised between $100,000 and $500,000 and 50% subsidized for startups that have raised $500,000 or more.
Abu Dhabi has transformed from a desert oasis into a global business hub. Today, the UAE’s capital is a gateway to markets across the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia with world-class infrastructure and connectivity. A third of the world is just a four-hour flight away and 80% of the world can be reached by an eight-hour flight.
Selected Startup Organizations
Startup Genome Members
Hub71 is Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem that enables founders to build globally enduring homegrown tech companies in any sector by providing access to global markets, a capital ecosystem, a global network of partners, and a vibrant community filled with highly skilled talent, governed by forward-thinking regulation.
Key Ecosystem Players
The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO)
News from the Ecosystem
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