United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi

MEMBERS:
Hub71

“Our technology ambitions are being realized by Abu Dhabi’s underlying commitment to supporting transformative ventures that are making an impact globally while advancing our Falcon Economy for the long-term prosperity of the Emirate”

H.E. Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi
Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), Chairman of Hub71
B1
B2
B3

Highlights

Since becoming the fastest-growing startup ecosystem in the region, Abu Dhabi continues to excel as a city championing startup growth. In a nation emboldened by its strategic vision to become a dominant global technology hub, the UAE is establishing its capital city as one of the world’s most prominent destinations for high-growth technology companies.


This vision has been reflected in the emergence of Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, which has grown to accommodate over 315 startups that have collectively raised $1.5 billion in funds since its 2019 inception. Hub71 applications doubled in 2023, with 38 onboarded startups and 77 new commercial deals worth $134 million. In the past year, the tech ecosystem has extended its reach into specific sectors aligning with Abu Dhabi’s economic priorities. Hub71+ specialist ecosystems were born to cater to startups innovating in Web3 and Digital Assets and Climatetech, with more on the horizon.


With its $1.5 trillion of sovereign wealth, Abu Dhabi has emerged as a thriving startup hub. ADGM, one of the world's largest financial districts, is renowned for its innovative regulatory frameworks and role in fostering economic diversification. Many tech companies are choosing to establish their global headquarters in ADGM, including ABHI from Pakistan. This embedded finance platform is part of Hub71 and has received support from the Abu Dhabi Investment Office. Another success story is RemotePass, which partnered with Hub71 to help founders attract highly-skilled remote talent worldwide. Andalusia Labs, a U.S.-based digital asset security firm, achieved unicorn status after closing a $48 million Series A round in December 2023.




Ecosystem by the Numbers

ECOSYSTEM VALUE
(H2 2021 - 2023)
$4.2 bn
GLOBAL AVG. $29.4 bn
TOTAL EARLY–STAGE FUNDING
(H2 2021 - 2023)
$284 m
GLOBAL AVG. $655 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE GROWTH
(H2 2021 - H2 2023 VS H2 2019 - H2 2021)
28%
28% 28 61 46% 46 100 0
GLOBAL AVG. 46%
NUMBER OF UNICORNS
(H2 2021 - 2023)
1
GLOBAL AVG. 3
MEDIAN SEED ROUND (H2 2021 - 2023)
$825 k
GLOBAL AVG. $985 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND (H2 2021 - 2023)
$11 m
GLOBAL AVG. $7.5 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY (2023)
$50 k
GLOBAL AVG. $47 k
EARLY-STAGE FUNDING GROWTH (2020-21 VS. 2022-23)
7
Scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
TOTAL VC FUNDING (2019 - 2023)
$1.1 bn
GLOBAL AVG. $4.6 bn
TIME TO EXIT (2019 - 2023)
8.1 years
GLOBAL AVG. 10 years
EXIT AMOUNT (2019 - 2023)
$2.3 bn
GLOBAL AVG. $8.9 bn
EXIT COUNT (#)
(2019 - 2023)
16
GLOBAL AVG. 80
3
3
2
4
4
2019
2020
2021
2022
2023

Sub-Sector Strengths

Fintech

ADGM’s 2023 Abu Dhabi Finance Week attracted 18,000+ delegates from over 100 countries. One of its pillar events was Fintech Abu Dhabi, spotlighting leading Fintech conversations. It delved into topics such as investing in the next human agenda, how social media is rewriting the banking playbook, and digital payment trends. Breakout events included Blockchain Abu Dhabi, AI Abu Dhabi, and Risk 4.0. Separately, First Abu Dhabi Bank partnered with Microsoft to launch the AI Innovation Hub, leveraging Azure AI for Banking as a Service and Risk as a Service solution.

Climatetech

The UAE’s leadership on addressing climate change took center stage when it hosted COP28 in November 2023. Abu Dhabi invested $1.4 billion of the total $1.85 billion investment in energy and mobility-related technology companies in the region. Hub71 launched ClimateTech+ to support the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 objective. UK-based Climatetech company Levidian established its HQ here in November 2023. Hong Kong-founded Archireef launched their global HQ here, embarking on marine restoration projects with various Abu Dhabi entities including AD Ports Group, supported by a $27 million ADQ R&D fund.

Web3 and Digital Assets

Abu Dhabi's Web3 and digital assets ecosystem is growing rapidly. Hub71+ Digital Assets is a specialized Web3 and blockchain ecosystem. ADQ-backed Zero Two, a digital assets infrastructure company, opened its HQ here to cater to Web3. ADGM partnered with Solana Foundation to promote Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) solutions and blockchain innovation after pioneering the introduction of the DLT Foundations Regulations. Klumi Ventures, the UAE's first Web3 VC firm, launched two specialized funds: a $15 Million Qualified Investors Fund for early-stage Web3 startups and a $100 million fund promoting technologies and decentralized sectors.

Reasons to Move Your Startup to Abu Dhabi

Golden Visa

The UAE Golden Visa offers foreigners a pathway to long-term residency with reduced investment thresholds and added flexibility, including the option to purchase off-plan properties. Benefits for holders include tax optimization, no mandatory UAE residence, access to top-tier healthcare and education, and an easier visa acquisition process. The Abu Dhabi Residents Office helps new residents settle and integrate into Abu Dhabi.

Government Support

Abu Dhabi's economic reforms include TAMM, an integrated digital platform providing over 700 government services; the Electricity Tariffs Incentive Program, offering competitive electricity tariffs to industrial SMEs; and the Open Data Portal, facilitating access to company data for informed investment decisions.​​ The Smart Manufacturing Incentive Programme launched in 2023, establishing the Smart Manufacturing Competence Centre to support transition to Industry 4.0.

Strategic Location

Abu Dhabi now stands as an international business nexus, being a gateway to markets across the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia with world-class infrastructure and connectivity. A third of the globe is reachable within a four hour flight and 80% is accessible in under eight hours.

Selected Startup Organizations

Startup Genome Members

Key Ecosystem Players

Get connected

Are you interested in diving deeper into this ecosystem? Drop us a message. Our Ambassadors and Partners can plug you in.