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Investors to descend on Dubai tech startup show

Dubai tech startup showcase Expand North Star Expand North Star
Expand North Star expects 1,800 startups and 1,000 investors to attend its tech startup showcase
  • 1,800 startups expected
  • 1,000 investors to attend
  • Funding down 75% in Q3 2023

Expand North Star, the UAE’s annual technology startup event, previously known as Gitex Future Stars, is predicting the number of attendees to at least double this year.

The Gulf state is hoping to capitalise on its regional dominance in tech startups, despite a recent decline in funding levels.

Such businesses witnessed a slump of 75 percent year on year in Q3 2023, but the Emirates continue to shine as a Mena tech ecosystem, attracting the lion’s share of total financing. 

Last year they secured $1.8 billion across 250 deals, contributing to the region’s total funding of almost $4 billion. 

Expand North Star last year attracted around 800 startups. Saeed Al Gergawi, vice president of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, which hosts the event from October 15-18 at Dubai Harbour, said he is expecting up to 1,800 this year.

Saeed Al Gergawi, vice president of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy

“We anticipate numerous deals taking place,” he said. “The event is a bridge between investors and startups to raise funding and expand their presence in the Middle East from Dubai.”

A range of conferences, networking events and dedicated pitch competitions will be held over the four days.

There will also be India Central – the biggest showcase of Indian startups assembled outside their home country – as well as Asia Fast 100 and Africa Fast 100, which will present startups from each continent. 

Expand North Star will gather around 1,000 investors from 70 countries managing around $1 trillion in funds.

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