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$2bn funding behind Dubai’s digital startup economy

  • Successful startups moving into next funding phase
  • Emirate has target of 30 unicorns by end of decade
  • Dubai Chambers launching incentives to attract more tech startups

Dubai tech startups have raised $2 billion and completed six mega-rounds valued at over $300 million in 2022, according to a report by the Dubai Digital Economy.

These included two listings for scaleups (startups that have raised over $1 million in capital) on stock exchanges. 

The UAE’s national digital economy is predicted to grow to $140 billion by 2031, and Dubai has set a target of becoming home to 30 unicorns (privately held startups valued at over $1 billion) by the end of this decade. 

Some of the region’s most prominent unicorns were born in Dubai, including Careem and Kitopi.

In September Dubai Chambers is launching new incentives as part of plans to attract 300 tech startups to the emirate by the end of next year.

Omar Al Olama, the UAE’s minister of state for artificial intelligence, told AGBI that these will include discounts on commercial space, technology, infrastructure and data hosting, as well as certain banking incentives.

“People are flocking to where the quality of life is the highest. Dubai has the highest talent per capita in the region,” he added.

Al Olama recently caught up with tech mogul Elon Musk at a technology conference in Paris, where they discussed AI regulation and the role of governments in the development of unicorns.

Watch the full video to learn more about Dubai’s digital economy initiative