H.E. Bin Touq visits Abu Dhabi’s HUB71 and meets with startup founders
31 Oct 2022
H.E. Bin Touq visits Abu Dhabi’s HUB71 and meets with startup founders
Minister of Economy: The visits seek to create a flexible and productive environment for UAE’s entrepreneurs by learning more about their perspectives
H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, visited HUB71 - the technology ecosystem in Abu Dhabi that houses 200 startups specialized in the fields of new economy. This is the Minister’s second visit in a series of planned field visits to various business communities in order to brief the sector on the innovative and flexible economic policies and legislations adopted by the UAE, launched in line with the principles of the 50 and the UAE Centennial 2071 goals. The visits are also aimed at assessing the impact of these amendments on the business sector on the ground by directly communicating with companies and their representatives in the country, in addition to learning their perspectives as key strategic partners in the UAE’s economic development journey.
H.E. Bin Touq emphasized that the business sector has been an important strategic partner in the UAE’s development since its inception and will continue to remain so in the future as well. He explained that the field visits promote stronger relations between the government and the private sectors by assessing the impact of recently issued legislations and regulations to create a flexible and productive environment for the growth of the business sector. This will further promote GDP growth and help create new job opportunities in the fields of new economy, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of national economy, globally.
H.E. Bin Touq met with several startup founders operating out of Hub71, including the founder of Dapi, a banking API that enables companies to accept bank transfer payments within any application instantly at a near-zero cost, allowing FinTech apps to leverage open banking by initiating payments and accessing real-time banking data. Since its inception in 2020, company has been seeking to bridge the infrastructural gap in MENA to integrate banking data in FinTech apps. It is also considered a leading provider of open APIs in the sector, accepted within the regulatory market of Abu Dhabi Global Market.
The Minister of Economy also met with the founders of Sauce Capital, which is building a platform for virtual brands to produce on-trend foods for delivery using its own application. The startup was established in 2020 in the UAE to offer varied and trendy options of cuisines for communities in the Middle East. The company owns nine kitchens across Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and is planning to expand locally to Sharjah, as well as in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Europe in 2022.
In addition, H.E. Bin Touq learnt about the services offered by banking as-a-Service (BaaS) provider NymCard, launched in 2018 in the UK. H.E. looked into the company’s role in enabling the establishment of successful companies, as well as the role of recently adopted economic initiatives and legislations in promoting their experience and the growth of their business locally and internationally. He further learned about the company’s future expansion plan and their views on the UAE’s economic model for the next 50 years.
H.E. said: “Hub71’s global tech ecosystem is a key entrepreneurial community that enables tech startups to grow and prosper globally from Abu Dhabi by providing them with the necessary expertise and financing solutions. The UAE is keen to support such innovative initiatives that contribute to enhancing its position as a leading global destination for startups, and support its goals to enable the SMEs model in the new economy sectors, in line with the country’s aspirations to transition into a knowledge economy.”
During the visit, H.E. elaborated on various incentives currently offered by the national economy and its salient features, and the recent economic legislation aimed at further developing the country’s business environment. These include the granting of 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies; the laws related to the development of the intellectual property ecosystem in the country such as the trademark law, copyright and related rights, commercial property, and more; and the federal law on SMEs. Adding further value to these are the innovative initiatives launched by the Ministry of Economy, including The Entrepreneurial Nation, the Emirati Startup Program, the comprehensive economic partnership agreements, and the ‘Thabat’ program aimed at enhancing the growth of family-owned companies in the country. He highlighted that establishing a company in the UAE now takes only four business days, with the procedures facilitated by various economic departments, or even less - 15 minutes if done via the smart platform ‘Basher.’
Moreover, H.E. highlighted the UAE’s leading economic position; its strategic location on the global trade landscape; and the immense potential it holds in natural resources. It has the largest sovereign wealth funds in the Arab world and boasts the most advanced infrastructure in the region.
Bader Salim Sultan Al Olama, Acting CEO of Hub71, said: “At Hub71, we are keen to enhance the collaboration with the government to support the UAE’s vision to build a diversified, knowledge-based economy. In line with the vision of the wise leadership, we are working to establish an innovation ecosystem that solidifies the UAE economy’s position and competitiveness globally, by attracting more innovative startups, investors, major companies, and government partners. We strive to fully capitalize on the capabilities of technology advancements while operating out of Abu Dhabi, and enhance our global presence by supporting entrepreneurs and enabling them to achieve their ambitions and prove their excellence at every level.”
Hub71 is an Abu Dhabi-based global ecosystem for technology companies that supports startups, and is one of the main components of Ghadan 21, the accelerator program launched by the Abu Dhabi government in 2019 to enhance the emirate’s competitiveness and leadership and support its economic, developmental, and social efforts in various strategic sectors.
The ecosystem supports Abu Dhabi’s digital transformation and the UAE’s larger shift towards a knowledge economy in collaboration with its strategic partners Mubadala, Microsoft, SoftBank Vision Fund, and Abu Dhabi Global Market. It connects leading technology companies with investors and exceptional talents from around the world in order to enhance collaboration and provide growth opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs in the MENA region and beyond.
Hub71 helps startups overcome the challenges they face around the world by providing them the necessary support for the growth and prosperity of their business. It covers 100 per cent of the cost of residential and office spaces and health insurance for companies that have at least five full time employees for two years. It also covers 50 per cent of the cost for tech startups with six to 25 full time employees for three years. In addition, Hub71 provides startups with access to funding through the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, which provides offerings to startups through venture capitals within the Hub71 community that also have partnerships with funding accelerators, and can nominate/help entrepreneurs and investors in obtaining the golden visa for entrepreneurs. The ecosystem also provides startups with the necessary talent pool in collaboration with UAE universities.