UAE world’s top destination for startups

The upcoming AIM Startup summit in Dubai will help connect startups in the UAE to global investors



According to studies undertaken on the eve of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) Startup which will be held in Dubai from April 8-10, Dubai is the world’s top destination for hundreds of startups followed by New Zealand, Singapore, Norway, Germany, Japan and Sweden.

Over two-thirds of startups in the UAE, around 69 per cent, are involved in e-commerce, infrastructure and software as a service, and marketplaces.

Of these, 52 per cent are in B2C ventures and 93 per cent of them are headquartered in Dubai.

“The UAE, which ranked 26th globally and third in the MENA region in 2018 as per the Global Entrepreneurship Index, remains one of the most favoured destinations for startup investments,” said Dawood Al Shezawi, Chairman of the Organising Committee of AIM Startup.

The AIM Startup is an initiative of the UAE Ministry of Economy’s National Programme for Small and Medium Enterprises and Projects that connects startups with investors from around the world.

Read: Startup funding up by 31% in MENA region to reach $893m in 2018

A total of 366 investments were made in startups based in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region last year to reach $893m of total funding, according to a report from start-up platform MAGNiTT released in January.

The total amount of funding indicated a 31 per cent increase in investment compared to 2017, in which $679m was invested, the report said.

The number of deals was also up 3 per cent year-on-year with the average deal size in the region up 26 per cent year-on-year.

“To sustain this momentum, we are holding AIM Startup to provide companies with a rare opportunity to raise capital, enter into new markets, and build new alliances with key investors and business leaders from the government and private sectors. It will be an ideal platform to generate new leads, interact with their like-minded peers, and connect with potential investors from around the world,” said Shezawi.

The theme of this year’s AIM Startup is ‘Harnessing Global Digitisation to Empower Startups and SMEs’ with hundreds of startups expected to be a part of the event which includes learning and networking sessions.