Dubai is home to more than 40 per cent of the Middle East and North Africa’s (Mena) scale-ups, with 306 of them calling the emirate their home, according to Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy’s new data released on Sunday.
The emirate also accounts for over 90 per cent of all scale-ups in the country, which is home to 338 scale-ups in total, the Chamber’s “Dubai's Venture Capital Ecosystem” report said.
Dubai’s scale-ups have raised over $11.7 billion (Dh43 billion) in funding over the past decade, representing 60 per cent of the region’s total cumulative fundraising. In 2022 alone, Dubai-based startups raised over $2 billion.
A total of 749 scale-ups across the region (excluding Israel) have raised a total of over $19.5 billion (Dh71.5 billion) cumulatively between 2012 to 2022, with UAE scale-ups accounting for 65 per cent of the total.
“The UAE’s advanced digital ecosystem has accelerated the development of the entrepreneurship sector and contributed to significant growth in its activity. The country’s proactive vision in developing legislation and initiatives in the digital field creates a favourable environment for startups and fast-growing companies, which has attracted unicorn companies and investors from around the world and consolidated the UAE's position as a global hub for the digital economy,” said Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, and Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy.
The UAE led the Mena region being home to 339 scaleups, while Egypt and Saudi Arabia follow with 140 and 132 scaleups, respectively.
The study revealed that the number of scaleups has also grown by 64, or 26 per cent, in Dubai between 2021 and 20222 to 306.
In addition, the growth of funding in the Mena region exceeded $4 billion in 2021 and 2022 and the number of mega-rounds of $300 million or more has seen an increasing trend with three seen in 2021 and six in 2022, including two scaleups listing on stock exchanges.
Considering the source of capital raised, venture capital and corporate rounds accounted for over three-quarters of the capital raised, while IPOs and ICOs accounted for a nearly equal share.
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