Why the UAE is becoming an attractive location for IT companies.How many countries on our planet have put digital development at the heart of development strategies? Countries for which the implementation of blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, the fourth industrial revolution are not just empty words, but real actions and innovations. There are few such examples andd the United Arab Emirates is one of the most outstanding. The UAE is developing based on strategies such as the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, The UAE's fourth industrial revolution (4IR) Strategy, Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021, National Policy for Quality of Digital Life and others. Government initiatives include business support, financing, reducing the cost of registering a business and overseas promotion. Regulators, bout federal and emirate level, are continuously developing legal and regulatory framework for SME’s and alternative funding channels, ensuring alignment with international standards.
The launchpad for startups and fintech companies.UAE’s wide range of free zones sits at the heart of its startup ecosystem, including world-leading zones Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai International Financial Centre, twofour54 and DMCC, offering new businesses several advantages including 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions and easier startup and recruitment process. They also hosts many business accelerators and incubators, such as FinTech Hive and Dtec, which offer support through startup incubation and venture capital funding. The UAE leadership clearly understands the potential of new technologies and knows that if you do not invest resources now in the development of digital technologies, you can hopelessly lag behind other countries. A Financial Times’ fDi Market report ranked Dubai 11th globally and first in MENA region in terms of venture capital investments in 2020. Venture funds are increasingly willing to provide funding for startups in the early stages of development. UAE startups raised $ 577 million in venture funding - 56% of total investments in the Middle East and North Africa in 2020. In Dubai, venture capital funds range in size from family offices to multinationals. Dtec Ventures, for example, is a DSOA venture capital fund dedicated to investing in early-stage technology firms. He is investing $ 100,000-500,000 early on and can support companies with follow-up funding. One of the leading venture capital firms in Dubai is BECO Capital, which raised $ 100 million in October 2019 for its second startup investment fund. This follows the success of the first BECO fund, from which there were four exits, including the $ 3.1 billion acquisition of startup Careem by its rival Uber. The huge size of this acquisition has attracted many more venture capitalists to the UAE in hopes of opening up new such unicorn companies.
IncentivesStartups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the UAE receive government assistance through several targeted incentive packages. In 2014, the UAE federal government established the National Program for SMEs, which provides assistance in the form of business support, financing, marketing, information, training and participation in overseas exhibitions. Among recent initiatives, the UAE government formed an Innovation Committee in November 2019, tasked with selecting companies with the best projects in 15 sectors. These companies were offered a range of incentives, including funding, lower business costs, overseas promotion and access to major exhibitions. In January 2020, the government announced plans to expand the scope of the package by expanding the administrative and commercial capabilities of SMEs and their innovative practices, while simultaneously connecting them to new regional and global markets. Incentives are also provided by specialized individual organizations serving SMEs and startups. Dubai Startup Hub, for example, launched Market Access, a platform as a service, in 2017. This platform enables innovative startups to interact and partner with established corporations to create value and expand new opportunities for small businesses to thrive, while gaining an integrated business. development and mentoring support. In June, 2021 His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced a national program for IT professionals and companies to build the UAE's national digital economy. It is planned to increase investment in digital technologies from AED 1.5 billion ($ 408 million) to AED 4 billion ($ 1.9 billion). The program is called "100,000 coders" and is aimed not only at developing local talent, but also at attracting both individual talented programmers and IT companies from abroad. The goal is set: to attract 100,000 programmers from abroad and to found 1,000 IT companies. This program was launched in collaboration with such IT giants as Google, Microsoft, IBM, LinkedIn, Facebook, Huawei, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Nvidia, Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Emirates NBD and others. The new program includes 5 strategic points:
- Support for programmers, entrepreneurs, startups, large companies
- Development of a comprehensive online platform for communication of programmers with business and universities.
- Development of local talent under the guidance of internationally recognized professionals.
- Attracting the world's best IT specialists to the UAE.
- Improvement of legislation in the field of digital technology regulation.