Sheikh Mohammed: Dubai has become the 'Silicon Valley' of the Middle East
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, associated Dubai to Silicon Valley saying that “Dubai has become the Silicon Valley of the Middle East” in a meeting with Divyank Turakhia, founder and CEO of Media.net, a company based in Dubai Internet City.
Over the last few years, Dubai has been a staging ground for deals worth billions between tech companies such as the acquisitions of Souq.com by Amazon and Careem by Uber. Whilst talking about these landmark deals, Sheikh Mohammed assured that Dubai will continue to facilitate such deals and act as an incubator for local talented and promising entrepreneurs.
The Sheikh recently launched a platform called ‘Youth Hub’ which aims to provide free open spaces to the youth looking to work on their own projects and form a startup. This incubator deals with trade centers, airports, cultural facilities, markets and tourist facilities.
The ‘Youth Hub’ is a joint initiative between the UAE government and Federal Youth Authority to support the youth and encourage entrepreneurship within the region. It will facilitate the populace aged 18 to 35 to launch their companies within 6 months. The facilities provided by the Launchpad will help align projects against the global standards and ensure global success.
Sheikh Mohammed’s comments come after a number of partnerships that the Federal Youth Authority has initiated to support the spirit of entrepreneurship in the UAE. These partners include the following departments: economic developments, Chamber of Commerce, urban planning, property investors, municipalities, culture and tourism and investors.
In a whitepaper published by Dubai’s Chamber of Commerce under the name of ‘Validating a Startup Business Idea’, the UAE startups require improved access to open data and such platforms will provide young businesses the required knowledge, skills and tools to operate in a competitive global community.
At the conclusion of the incubation period, the Federal Youth Authority will provide spaces to new businesses in the Youth Hub with the help of its partners. These spaces will be located across the major malls and trade centers of Dubai and wider UAE, including Yas Mall, Union Museum, Flag Park, Dubai Mall, Al Hamra Mall, City Walk etc.
To avail a chance for incubation, the idea should be unique and something never done before in the market of the region. In order to earn a space, applicants must come up with a proper plan and a clear goal in mind.