Dubai brings out $272mn fund to support tech startups

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Desk Reporter
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Dubai has established the $272 million (Dh1 billion) worth Future District Fund, to help technology firms and encourage them to list in the Dubai Financial Markets and stock exchange.

The Fund is an initiative of the Dubai Securities and Exchange Higher Committee and, it is part of the Dubai Future District’s (DFD) ongoing efforts to support tech startups.

According to the statement, the fund will support efforts to carry out the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to establish 1,000 tech companies in the country within five years. Further, it aims to increase startup investment from $408 million (AED1.5 billion) to $1 billion (AED4 billion).

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed
Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed
Deputy Ruler – Dubai
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Finance – UAE

“Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to support the digital economic sector, we launched today the $272 million (AED1 billion) Dubai Future District Fund to invest in startups. The Fund aims to realize the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to establish 1,000 tech companies in the next five years, by supporting Dubai’s digital economy and companies that adopt future technologies and develop new economic sectors of the future. the Dubai Future District Fund supports national efforts and strategies aimed at enabling entrepreneurs to reach new horizons, realize Dubai’s aspirations for the new economy, and contribute to enhancing the emirate’s status as a preferred destination for global talent that offers an integrated investment environment and exceptional facilities.”

HH Sheikh Maktoum also approved the appointment of Mr. Sharif El-Badawi as CEO of the Dubai Future District Fund. The new CEO will lead efforts to help Dubai grow as a destination for regional and global technology companies, as well as strengthen Dubai’s status as a talent and game-changing ideas hub.

According to the statement, “As an enabler of Dubai Future District’s other initiatives, the Fund seeks to fill a funding gap in the MENA venture capital (VC) market by investing in technology startups in the early stages of growth.” Further, it intends to invest in local and regional funds as well as attract prominent international venture capital funds to set up a presence in Dubai.

The Dubai Future District Fund aims to create an innovation-driven startup ecosystem to boost Dubai’s future economy’s worldwide competitiveness. As part of its mandate, it will invest in a range of key initiatives, including Dubai Future Accelerators, DIFC FinTech Hive, and Venture Builder Studios.

Related: UAE’s EDB seals pact with Dubai IE to boost industrial growth & exports


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