Abu Dhabi Named Fastest-Growing Emerging Ecosystem in MENA in 2024 Startup Report

Abu Dhabi Named Fastest-Growing Emerging Ecosystem in MENA in 2024 Startup Report

UAE capital is celebrated in the 2024 Global Startup Ecosystem Report – as the fastest-growing emerging ecosystem in the MENA region.

Abu Dhabi has ranked as the fastest-growing emerging ecosystem in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), marking a 28% growth in ecosystem value in the 2024 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) by Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network launched today at London Tech Week.

As part of Startup Genome’s analysis of the UAE’s capital city, including the growing startup activity at Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global technology ecosystem, the #GSER2024 report found –

●       Abu Dhabi continues to be the fastest-growing emerging ecosystem in the MENA region

●       The ecosystem created $4.2 billion in Ecosystem Value from Jul 01, 2021 to Dec 31, 2023, representing 28% compound annual growth compared to Jul 01, 2019 to Dec 31, 2021 time period. Ecosystem Value is a measure of economic impact, calculated as the value of exits and startup valuations.

●       Abu Dhabi’s ranking jumped 15 spots compared to the previous year, landing in the 61-70 group

●       Total Early-Stage Funding between Jul 01, 2021 – Dec 31, 2023 is $284M and total VC Funding for 2019 - 2023 is $1.06B.

 ●       #2 MENA Ecosystem in Performance — measures the size and performance of an ecosystem based on the accumulated tech startup value created from exits and funding

●       #5 MENA Ecosystem in Funding — measures innovation through early-stage funding and investor’s activity

●       #5 MENA Ecosystem in Talent & Experience — measures long-term trends over the most significant performance factors          

●       Top 10 MENA Ecosystem in Knowledge — measures innovation through research and patent activity

●       Top 15 MENA Ecosystem in Bang for Buck — measures the amount of runway tech startups acquire, on average, from a VC round

●       Top 15 MENA Ecosystem in Affordable Talent — measures the ability to hire tech talent      

●       The FinTech, AgTech and New Food, and ClimateTech sectors are highlighted for their density of talent, support resources, and startup activity

●       The Golden Visa and strategic location are cited as reasons a startup should move to the ecosystem

Ahmad Ali Alwan, CEO of Hub71, said:

“Abu Dhabi’s rise as a leading startup ecosystem in the region is a testament to the opportunities it offers entrepreneurs worldwide. Its favorable environment creates the funding and commercial prospects and establishes the foundation for startups to scale. This is exemplified through Hub71 which has seen its startup community grow over the past five years as more startups identify Abu Dhabi as a launchpad for their global expansion. As the Startup Genome report shows, Hub71 is fulfilling the vision of our leadership to maximize the potential of disruptive ventures that are transforming society with impact.”

Abu Dhabi’s key ecosystem players, including ADGM, Mubadala, ADQ, ADIO, startAD, and ADDED, are creating a favorable environment with incentives like 100% foreign ownership to attract foreign investment and startups. Collaborations among these players support startups globally, with many companies relocating their headquarters to ADGM. Hub71 hosts over 315 startups that have raised $1.5 billion.

"Thanks to the excellent work of Hub71, Abu Dhabi is one of the rare places where everyone comes together to create a world-class startup ecosystem at an incredible pace,"

shares Marc Penzel, Founder & President of Startup Genome.

"Whether it's digital assets, CleanTech, or other fast-growing opportunities, Abu Dhabi should be on the radar of any entrepreneur with outsized global ambitions."
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