• | 10:30 am

Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan launches $100 million fund for startups to create 8K jobs

The fund will invest in startups for the next eight years, and will contribute significantly to the UAE's GDP.

[Source photo: Shutterstock | Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

With more than $4 billion in foreign investment in the first three quarters of 2021, Dubai experienced a post-pandemic economic boom. With more than 10,000 startups, initiatives such as 100,000 golden visas for coders and startup hubs are further bolstering the UAE’s position among major economies.

To nurture more innovative ideas, Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan has launched a $100 million venture capital fund for startups. Entrepreneurs will be able to access the venture capital through an integrated funding model customized to address their needs. It’ll be managed by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), contributing 15% of the total investment.

The aim is to boost the growth of startups in Dubai to later expand into global markets. Funds from the program will continue to support small and medium businesses for the next eight years. It’s expected to contribute more than $816 million to the UAE’s GDP after coming into effect in June.

Apart from encouraging more global investors to bank on startups in the UAE, the fund will create 8000 jobs in the country. Sheikh Hamdan also credited effective regulation, swift financing, and a flexible legislative system for Dubai’s growth as a startup hub.

Before this venture capital push, Sheikh Hamdan had also launched a digital crowdfunding platform for innovative startups last year. The UAE is also home to the Dubai Startup Hub and Abu Dhabi’s Hub71, designed to support innovative ideas with technical know-how and funding.

By 2031 the UAE also hopes to host more than 20 unicorns, which means startups with a valuation of more than $1 billion. The country has also joined hands with global firms, including Google, Facebook, and Cisco, to support digital entrepreneurs.

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