The new raft of government incentives indicates that 2019 will be the year that places UAE as the top location for startups globally. A lot of companies are seeing more opportunities in Dubai as the market is showing endless possibilities for both the public and private sector. According to the co-founder Zhuling Chen, Middle East is fast becoming an increasing influence in the global blockchain ecosystem.
The blockchain has attracted a lot of attention in order to reorient the economy away from the oil industry both by the business community and the government. The sheer numbers of new blockchain applications across the region are an indication that this industry has become a key focus. The chief executive of the Dubai International Financial Centre, Arif Amiri has stated that the Welnvest has raised $12.2 million since graduating from the program and has also opened an office as a part of the global expansion. More than ten landmark agreements were signed in 2018 by FinTech Hive with some of the leading institutions across important markets including Singapore, New York, Kaula Lumpur, and Brussels.
Another diversified group of companies SEED Group has also been declared to be on board as Dubai’s local biometric startup Touche making it local sponsor and partner. The chief executive of Touche explained that the Middle East and UAE are very interesting markets and are very entrepreneurial, innovative, as well as open to new technologies. The senior executive completely understands their vision whether it is through biometric or through some of the traditional payment methods.
It may not be possible for Dubai to hold startups such as Silicon Valley but it is making efforts to get into the game in the same way. With the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Dubai Financial Services Authority DFSA has inked a fintech last August to make it possible for each party to refer to fintec companies to the other. In the financial sector, it will also help to facilitate the sharing of information on innovation.
As more and more startups are making their way to Dubai, there are few hurdles that stand along the way. The regional technology sector lacks the Series B as well as later stage growth capital. One of the biggest challenges in Dubai is the difficulty in acquiring the technical talent and there is a need to encourage the technology-based education and training for the younger generation. It will help to develop talent among youth and also to prepare them for the job market.
The story originally appeared on Singapore Business Times.