In the last articles, we talked about the future of innovations in Dubai. To summarize our findings in one sentence: it is happening in the desert. The government is funneling money into future‑driving projects and cooperates with leading innovators from around the world.
Dubai is taking Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s words serious:
“Future generations will be living in a world that is very different from that to which we are accustomed. It is essential that we prepare ourselves and our children for that new world.”
In this article, we will dive into the specifics and answer the following questions:
- Who are the local innovators to keep an eye on?
- Where are the cool co‑working spaces and hubs?
- Are there incubators and where do they sit?
So let’s get straight to it.
Who are Dubai’s leading innovators?
1. Dubai Internet City
Of course, Dubai Internet City (DIC) has to be on your mental map. DIC claims to be the place where innovation begins and is home to entrepreneurs, SMEs, startups, facilitators and even Fortune 500 companies. Dubai Internet City is also home of the Innovation Hub, a 1.8 million square feet areal dedicated to‑you guessed it‑innovations. The project, still in phase 1, will be completed in 2019, when over 10,000 people will work on disrupting and innovating the status quo of robotics, telecommunications, and other key sectors.
2. Dubai Chamber of Commerce
The Dubai Chamber of Commerce has played a major role in the city’s explosive growth. The chamber represents, supports, and protects the interests of the business community in Dubai. Also, it publishes the Dubai Innovation Index and analyzes the competitive landscape on depth. The chamber further supports startups by providing tools and technologies necessary to succeed in Dubai.
3. Innovations Group
Dubai’s native Innovations Group provides, amongst others, what they call manpower outsourcing, business process outsourcing, and innovative IT services. The group focuses on providing its clients with smart processes and the right people to help them maximize their business’s value.
What are the best coworking spaces in Dubai?
1. Impact Hub Dubai
Impact Hub Dubai, modeled after European hostels, offers sofa‑beds and modern workspaces to stimulate the creative brain. The HUB has a strong international community and members from all around the world can work at any HUB they want. Here you will find the support you need to kick‑start your innovative project.
304 B Saaha Offices, Souk Al Bahr, Dubai, Sat to Thur 9am to 6pm. Tel: (04) 375 4444. Taxi: Souk Al Bahar car park, Saaha Offices. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. impacthub.ae
2. A4 Space
The A4 Space is located right in the heart of Dubai’s arts district and offers a unique design. The place is free of charge and anyone who wants to get in touch with local scene is welcome to stop by. There is also a community library and a cinema on the mezzanine level.
Warehouse 4, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, Sat to Thur 10am to 7pm. Tel: (050) 5569797. Taxi: Alserkal Avenue. Alserkalavenue.ae
3. The Cribb
The Cribb is located above The Football Center in Al Quoz. It combines the best of both worlds, work and play. The space if split into a public area, offering great food and coffee, and a membership‑only part, providing quite work spaces and meeting rooms. After work, people get together to watch the games or play a game of ping pong.
Al Quoz, Dubai, Sun to Thur 8am to 8pm, Sat 9am to 5pm. Tel: (04) 319 7645. Taxi: The Football Center, near Tom & Serg, Al Quoz. the cribb.co
What are the incubators and accelerators?
in5’s three specialised innovation centers, tailored to Tech, Design and Media, entrepreneurs and startups get direct access to a supportive community of future‑minded people. In5 aims to provide hands‑on support to all members during all stages of the innovation cycle. There are tailored trainings and mentoring programs to create an enabling platform.
2. 1776 Dubai
1776 is a start‑up incubator with an extensive mentorship network. The facility is in close proximity to the creative tech arm of Dubai Government: The Dubai Future Foundation.
Seedstartup is part of the TechStars global network (TechStars is ranked one of the best accelerators in U.S.). SeedStartup has a clear program, designed to grow startups from the ideation stage to the hard launch. The program is designed to last three months and experiences mentors offer high‑quality support.