Startups To Play Much Bigger Role In Supporting Dubai's Transition To A Digitally-Driven Economy Dubai Startup Hub had successful collaborations with entrepreneurship ecosystem partners that enabled the initiative to serve a wider network of startups and entrepreneurs in 2020.

By Megha Merani

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Tech startups can help accelerate Dubai's transition to a digitally-driven economy in the post-pandemic era, a top official at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said.

Atiq Juma Nasib, Senior Vice President of Commercial Services at Dubai Chamber, was speaking at a roundtable of key stakeholders from Dubai's entrepreneurship ecosystem as they brainstormed plans to boost startup support in 2021.

Organized by the Dubai Startup Hub to brainstorm new initiatives and plans to support the growth of startups in 2021, the discussion included voices from DIFC Fintech Hive, In5, Dtec, Expo 2020 Live, Dubai SME, Step Conference, Entrepreneur Middle East (BNC Publishing), C3, Letswork, and The Co-Dubai.

"Dubai Chamber observed a steady increase in inquiries from international startups interested in entering the Dubai market in 2020, reflecting the Emirate's strong appeal as a global innovation hub," Nasib said.

"Going forward, startups and SMEs are expected to play a much bigger role in supporting Dubai's transition to a digitally-driven economy in the post-COVID era, given the valuable expertise in advanced technologies and cutting-edge solutions they are bringing to the market."

Nasib added that Dubai Startup Hub's key achievements for 2020 included successful collaborations with entrepreneurship ecosystem partners during the year that enabled the initiative to serve a wider network of startups and entrepreneurs through various programs, initiatives and events.

Related: E-Commerce Sales In Dubai To Rise To AED100 Billion By 2022

More than 2100 entrepreneurs benefited from Dubai Startup Hub's programs in 2020, he said, while 48 virtual events took place through the course of the year. New programs, initiatives and events were also organized to meet the evolving needs of startups in Dubai in response to the new challenges and opportunities created by COVID-19.

The roundtable noted that several positive trends among incubators and accelerators were observed this year in Dubai, including the ability of startups to secure additional funding and remain resilient in the face of new challenges.

Participants added that the benefits offered to startups and SMEs through stimulus packages and other business-friendly measures introduced by the Dubai and UAE governments so far, have had a positive impact on the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Established by Dubai Chamber in 2016, Dubai Startup Hub is the first initiative of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region. The initiative aims to provide clarity and guidance for entrepreneurs throughout their journey, while it also leverages public-private sector partnerships to promote innovation and develop Dubai's entrepreneurial ecosystem.

This article was originally published on Dubai Startup Hub and has been reposted on Entrepreneur Middle East based on a mutual agreement between the websites.

Related: Dubai Startup Hub Launches Eight Sector Guides To Support Entrepreneurs

Megha Merani

Independent Journalist

Megha Merani is an independent journalist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Her stories have made headlines across a number of publications including Reuters, Associated Press, Entrepreneur Middle EastBloomberg Middle East, Arabian Gulf Business Insight, Arabian Business, and former local daily 7DAYS.

Megha also produces editorial for government platforms including the World Government Summit and World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils. She has been a grant winner of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and The Global Initiative Against Organized Crime funded by the government of Norway to report on the online trade in illegal wildlife.

Megha is also an Associate Fellow (AFHEA) at Murdoch University in Dubai and leads its Digital Newsroom course unit. In addition, Megha serves as a United Nations Women mentor to support equal opportunities for women entrepreneurs, and supports various other programs including TIE Women, 60 Day Startups, and the Watt Inc. Business Incubator.

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