Dubai launches new online platform for digital-focused start-ups

The Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy formally launched on 2 October a new platform aimed at attracting and supporting digital-focused start-ups as the emirate progresses its plan to become a digital economy powerhouse.

The Business in Dubai programme, which was first announced in June, is being positioned as a one-stop shop that will bridge gaps faced by start-ups in terms of access to funding, workspaces and other opportunities for growth.

Seven new partners – the Dubai World Trade Centre, telecom operator du, Dubai Islamic Bank, Mashreq, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Tecom Group’s start-up incubator in5 and workspace platform Letswork – formalised their participation by signing a preliminary agreement.

They join telecoms operator e& – formerly known as Etisalat – Dubai CommerCity and digital payments platforms Telr and Safexpay, who had previously signed in June.

The Business in Dubai platform will offer a business-matching service to connect companies with partners, investors and customers, and a comprehensive range of institutional services delivered in co-operation with the Dubai Chamber’s partners. Partner banks, for example, will be setting up dedicated teams to assist start-ups.

The programme will also include incentives to attract more local and international digital start-ups to operate in the emirate. The new initiative is also a step towards Dubai’s target of attracting 300 digital start-ups to the emirate by 2024 and boosting its non-oil GDP. The Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy attracted 69 digital start-ups during the first quarter of 2023.

“Digital-focused start-ups are extremely important … so we try to provide what they require,” said Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy vice chairman Ahmad bin Byat. “It won’t be just cost effective – it’s also more efficient. Instead of these companies going to different places, they can access this platform and get the services, with our team also available to help.”

Last year the UAE government announced its Digital Economy Strategy with the goal of increasing the contribution of the sector to GDP by 20% over the next 10 years, up from 9.7% in 2022.

For further information on Dubai digital start-ups, please contact Jim Swallow, Commercial Director at Sovereign PRO Partner Group, below.

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