Startups are a valuable part of Dubai's economy, accounting for 46% of its GDP. In a city where startups are thriving, it's no surprise that many programs and institutions are in place to help SMEs. A popular choice for entrepreneurs is to use one of the many incubators or accelerators available in the city.
A business incubator can guide entrepreneurs from the idea stage of their product. Then, by offering mentorship, networking opportunities, investor introductions, the incubator can set an entrepreneur on track to have a successful business. Accelerators are then used by companies that have progressed past the early setting up and establishing stages.
The most recent incubator to open in Dubai is the 'Ztartup' incubator located in Dubai Healthcare City. It is focused on healthcare technology, including digital media and augmented and virtual reality used in healthcare; digital emergency and safety technology. This is an example of how the incubators and accelerators in Dubai are not just a one-stop-shop for all. Instead, they focus precisely on one industry offering the entrepreneur a more dedicated service.
Dubai's Top Business Incubators
Choosing the most suited incubator is essential. Here is a list of the most popular ones in Dubai.
In5 is a popular choice as its creative spaces and specialised industry centres are ideal for any company venturing into the industry of technology, production or media. You can apply to the TECOM backed incubator on their website.
Bedayat was launched in 2019 as part of an initiative by Sustainable City in Dubai to develop small-medium enterprises. Like other Dubai-based incubators, Bedayat provides training sessions and opportunities to meet business experts while enabling budding entrepreneurs to access facilities to conduct research, and test their products and services before going to market. You can find more information on their website, where applications for the incubator are also being received.
Located in 4 cities across the Gulf region, Astrolabs is a familiar name within the Startup community. They offer mentoring, co-working spaces, investment opportunities. They also have a large selection of training courses suited for individuals from startups and established companies. Check out Astrolabs website for more information.
In January 2017 the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) set up the Fintech incubator FinHive. Since it opened it has registered over 300 companies and accelerated 100 companies. They have also helped to raise over €245 million.