Dubai Chamber to host ‘Expand Summit’ to support startups

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Dubai Chamber
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The Dubai Chamber for Digital Economy, one of the three entities that were formed under the Dubai Chambers umbrella will be hosting the “Expand Summit”, the first-of-its-kind summit in the region, to attract Venture Capitalists (VCs) for financing startups and boost the country’s digital economy.

The summit will be held in January 2022 and will be organized in coordination with Expo 2020 Dubai, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai Future Foundation, and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and is expected to witness wide participation.

Dubai Chambers “Expand Summit” will witness the largest gathering of VCs and startups in the region, with 500 investors and 1,000 tech startups expected to participate in the two-day program which will include events, seminars, presentations, demos, pitches and meetings.

“The summit will serve as a catalyst to help Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy achieve its goal of accelerating the growth of Dubai’s digital economy and doubling the number of digital companies operating in the emirate in the coming years,” said Mr. Omar Al Olama, chairman of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy.

The UAE, the Arab world’s second-largest economy, has been focused on supporting startups and increasing their contribution to the country’s economy. Abu Dhabi started Hub71 in 2019 to boost startups in the UAE’s capital. Demand for startups that are active in the fintech and eCommerce sector has increased in the wake of the pandemic.

“UAE and Dubai startups usually attract 50 percent of total funding raised in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region,” Dubai Chamber said. It added that its startup hub has been receiving about 50 individual requests from venture capitalists globally, including from North America, Russia, and India, to invest in startups.

According to the latest report from data platform Magnitt, startups in the UAE secured 61 percent of all MENA investments in the first half of 2021. Funding for MENA startups during the period stood at $1.2 billion, exceeding the $1.09 billion raised in the whole of last year.

UAE has more than 1,400 startups, with $0.41 billion allocated to them, according to Dubai Chamber. The total value of startups in the country is estimated at $24.5 billion. The digital economy accounts for about 4.3 percent of the UAE’s gross domestic product, equivalent to $27.2 billion.

Related: Dubai Free Zones Council explores strategic initiatives to support startups & SMEs