Abu Dhabi out to lure tech startups with new $142m tech hub, $145m fund

https://pixabay.com/photos/abu-dhabi-city-skyline-emirates-1177898/
Featured image: Abu Dhabi skyline (neildodhia via Pixabay)

The Abu Dhabi government has launched a 520-million dirham ($142-million) tech hub through which it aims to support tech startups.

The centre, dubbed Hub 71, is part of the Abu Dhabi government’s 50-billion dirham ($13.6-billion) stimulus programme which it announced last September.

The emirate hopes the hub will “underpin” Abu Dhabi’s status as a vibrant destination of digital transformation, innovative initiatives and high-tech entrepreneurs.

Upon launching Hub71 yesterday (24 March), Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan also announced a 535-million dirham ($146-million) fund that will be administered by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office to invest in startups and venture capitalists (VCs) at the hub.

Abu Dhabi’s Hub 71 will offer seed-stage tech startups with fully subsidised housing, office space and health insurance

In a statement yesterday, the Abu Dhabi government said starting on 28 April, the fund will co-invest with VCs in Hub 71 based tech startups through a government matching scheme, as well as invest in first-time fund managers to support their establishment and growth in the emirate.

The hub will also offer seed stage tech startups with fully subsidised housing, office space and health insurance, while more established tech ventures will receive 50% subsidy packages.

The Abu Dhabi government said it had partnered with Mubadala Investment Company, Microsoft and SoftBank Vision Fund on Hub71, and that it will work in close collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Global Market on the initiative.

Abu Dhabi minister of state and Abu Dhabi Global Market chairman Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh said the hub is about setting a foundation for early and growing tech companies who seek and recognise the immense opportunities in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the wider region.

“As a regulator and business enabler, ADGM provides the ideal platform to augment Hub71’s interconnected global ecosystem.

“We will continue to deliver valuable business access and tools, supported by progressive regulatory systems, to enable start-ups and entities to conduct business with ease, and position Abu Dhabi as their home,” he added.

Abu Dhabi Executive Office chairman Jassim Mohammed Buatabh Al Zaabi, commenting in the same statement, said Abu Dhabi has proven itself as a place where innovation can succeed and inspire.

“Through the Abu Dhabi Government’s economic programmes and plans, we’re doubling down on our efforts to make Abu Dhabi a global beacon for technology and innovation,” he added.

In a report yesterday, CNN Business said Abu Dhabi currently offers a two year startup license for $700 which includes visas for up to four employees and has no office space requirements.

Ventureburn sought comment from Hub71 CEO Mahmoud Adi on what tech verticals the hub will focus on and how much in funding each participant assisted by the hub will receive.

Featured image: Abu Dhabi skyline (neildodhia via Pixabay)

Daniel Mpala
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