Why Abu Dhabi and Dubai are becoming popular startup hubs in the MENA region

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Over the past decade, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has witnessed a significant rise in the number of startups, with Abu Dhabi and Dubai emerging as the leading startup hubs. This article explores the reasons behind their growing popularity and analyzes the factors contributing to their success. 

1. Strategic Location

One of the key factors that have made Abu Dhabi and Dubai attractive destinations for startups is their strategic location. Situated at the crossroads between Europe, Asia, and Africa, these cities offer easy access to a vast market of over 1.5 billion people. This geographical advantage allows startups to tap into a diverse customer base and expand their reach globally.

2. Supportive Government Policies

The governments of Abu Dhabi and Dubai have implemented a range of initiatives and policies to support the growth of startups. These include tax incentives, simplified company registration processes, and the establishment of dedicated free zones for startups. These measures have created a favorable business environment, making it easier for entrepreneurs to set up and operate their businesses in the region.

3. Access to Funding

Another reason for the growing popularity of Abu Dhabi and Dubai as startup hubs is the availability of funding. Both cities have witnessed a surge in venture capital and angel investments, with numerous funds and investors actively seeking promising startups to invest in. This access to funding has provided startups with the necessary capital to scale their operations and fuel their growth.

4. Vibrant Startup Ecosystem

The startup ecosystems in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are vibrant and dynamic, with a strong network of mentors, incubators, and accelerators. These support systems provide startups with guidance, mentorship, and access to resources, helping them navigate the challenges of starting and scaling a business. Additionally, the presence of co-working spaces and networking events fosters collaboration and innovation among entrepreneurs.

5. Infrastructure and Connectivity

Abu Dhabi and Dubai boast world-class infrastructure and connectivity, which are crucial for the success of startups. The cities have state-of-the-art office spaces, advanced telecommunications systems, and reliable transportation networks. This infrastructure enables startups to operate efficiently and effectively, facilitating their growth and expansion.


Abu Dhabi and Dubai have emerged as popular startup hubs in the MENA region due to their strategic location, supportive government policies, access to funding, vibrant startup ecosystems, and world-class infrastructure. These cities offer a conducive environment for startups to thrive and succeed, attracting entrepreneurs from around the world. As they continue to foster innovation and entrepreneurship, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are poised to become even more prominent players in the global startup ecosystem.


  1. The Bureau: Located in the heart of Dubai’s Gold & Diamond Park, The Bureau offers a light and airy co-working space with a female-focused concept. It provides a co-working lounge, private offices, meeting rooms, a podcast studio, and phone booths.
  2. Modern Working: This co-working space in Dubai is ideal for people looking for private offices, virtual offices, and meeting rooms. It offers a modern and professional environment with various amenities
  3. Our Space: With multiple locations, including Arabian Ranches Golf Club, Rove Hotels, and Social Distrikt, Our Space is a flexible workspace in Dubai. It provides unlimited tea, coffee, Wi-Fi, and a free parking space, making it a pocket-friendly option

Abu Dhabi:

  1. GlassQube Coworking: A popular choice in Abu Dhabi, GlassQube offers dedicated desks, cozy couches, comfortable semi-private bubbles, cubicles, and spacious private offices for long-term use
  2. Servcorp: Known for its premium office spaces, Servcorp provides high-quality co-working solutions in Abu Dhabi. It offers a professional environment with various amenities and services
  3. Regus: Another well-known co-working space provider, Regus offers flexible workspaces in Abu Dhabi. It has multiple locations and provides a range of services to meet different business needs
  4. Witwork: Witwork is a unique co-working space in Abu Dhabi that offers a community-driven environment. It provides a comfortable and inspiring workspace for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses
  5. WeWork: As a global leader in co-working spaces, WeWork has a presence in Abu Dhabi, offering its signature modern and flexible workspaces for individuals and businesses
  6. Makateb Business Center: This co-working space in Abu Dhabi provides a professional and productive environment for entrepreneurs and small businesses. It offers various amenities and services to support your business needs
  7. Cloud Spaces: Cloud Spaces is a contemporary co-working space in Abu Dhabi that offers a range of workstations, meeting rooms, and event spaces. It is designed to foster creativity and collaboration
  8. Haibu Space: Haibu Space is a boutique co-working space in Abu Dhabi that offers a unique and inspiring environment for entrepreneurs and professionals. It provides various amenities and services to support your business growth

These are just a few of the top coworking spaces in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Depending on your specific needs and preferences, you may find other options that suit you better.

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