Dubai attracts 57% of scaleup funding in MENA region - report
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Dubai attracts 57% of scaleup funding in MENA region – report

Dubai attracts 57% of scaleup funding in MENA region – report

Scaleups in the UAE raised $5.4bn as of December 2021


Dubai accounts for 57 per cent of scaleup funding in the Middle East and North Africa, while the emirate is home to 39 per cent of the region’s scaleups, a new study has revealed.

Saudi Arabia came second as the kingdom is home to 106 scaleups (18.1 per cent of total) that raised a total of $1.2bn of growth funds, according to a new report by Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy in cooperation with Mind the Bridge and Crunchbase.

Egypt ranked third, accounting for 84 scaleups and $1.4bn raised, the report which examined key trends reshaping the maturing entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region.

Meanwhile, the UAE accounted for the largest number of scaleups (251), which attracted the majority of funding in the region, or 59 per cent, having raised $5.4bn. The number of scaleups in MENA saw exponential growth in 2021, compared to 2020, as 587 scaleups were accounted for in the region by December 2021, compared to 139 in the previous year.

MENA scaleups have collectively attracted $9.1bn, representing 0.12 per cent of the region’s GDP. As many as 26 MENA scaleups (4.4 per cent of total) relocated their headquarters inside the region to boost their growth, the report revealed.

The UAE was the preferred destination for relocation with eight scaleups setting up in the country, followed by Saudi Arabia with 7, and Egypt (4). Additionally, a total of 41 scaleups opted to expand their footprint beyond MENA, primarily to the US (13), the UK (5), France (5), India (3), and Canada (2).

Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications and Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy said the findings of the report reflect ongoing efforts to advance Dubai’s digital economy and create a conducive environment in the emirate for scaleups to grow.

“Despite its vast competitive advantages, the UAE continues to add more incentives for businesses and startups. The introduction of golden visas, green visas, freelancer and entrepreneur visas are all bold and positive steps the country has taken to boost its value proposition,” said Hamad Buamim, president and CEO of Dubai Chambers.

“Venture capital is a crucial element needed to nurture thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems and advance digital economies. We will continue to work closely with public and private sector stakeholders to ensure a conducive environment for VC firms and investors, as well as entrepreneurs from around the world.”

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