Sheikh Hamdan meets founder of Dubai-based Telegram

Dubai - Many start-ups have scripted global success stories in Dubai, says Sheikh Hamdan

Photos: Sheikh Hamdan/Twitter
Photos: Sheikh Hamdan/Twitter
Photos: Sheikh Hamdan/Twitter
Photos: Sheikh Hamdan/Twitter
Photos: Sheikh Hamdan/Twitter
Photos: Sheikh Hamdan/Twitter

By Waheed Abbas

Published: Sat 6 Feb 2021, 1:49 PM

Dubai’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem has enabled a host of technology start-ups to script global success stories, said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.

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From world-leading infrastructure and regulatory frameworks to availability of incubators and smart funding, Dubai provides all the elements needed for new ventures of all sizes to succeed, Sheikh Hamdan said during a meeting with Pavel Durov, Founder and CEO of Telegram, one of the world’s leading cloud-based instant messaging and VoIP services.

Headquartered in Dubai, Telegram is valued at more than $20 billion, and has over 570 million users, out of which 100 million were acquired in January alone.

In 2020, Telegram became one of the 10 most downloaded and popular apps in the world. By 2022, it is expected to have one billion active users per month.

Sheikh Hamdan said: "Dubai’s ability to provide a productive growth-oriented environment for technology start-ups is validated by the fact that some the world’s most exciting and successful digital companies like Telegram have chosen to run their ventures out of the emirate. We continue to welcome great talent and ideas to Dubai which offers a nurturing ecosystem for their development.”

Pavel Durov expressed his appreciation for Dubai's vision for a vibrant technological community, which has played an important role in driving growth, innovation and entrepreneurship in the technology sector far beyond Dubai’s borders.

"The startup ecosystem, advanced infrastructure and business-friendly legislation offered by Dubai has made it a hub for talent and entrepreneurs aspiring to go global from all over the world.”

Other success stories

Dubai boasts a number of successful stories in the field of technology sector such as Careem,, Media.Net, Anghami and Wrappup.

It is expected that Dubai will create 10 more unicorns in the next decade. And Telegram could be one of the strongest candidates to become the next $1 billion giant to grow out of fast-growing Dubai Internet City, the region’s largest hub for technology firms.

Telegram is one of a series of global entrepreneurial successes that have emerged out of Dubai over the last few years.

Other notable ones include Careem, acquired by Uber;, the first unicorn company in the Middle East, acquired by Amazon; Media.Net, one of the world’s largest ad tech companies; Anghami, an Arabic music streaming platform; and Wrappup, the developer of an AI-based productivity app, acquired by US tech firm Voicera.

Last year, Dubai-based Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG) and OLX Group, owners of homegrown technology firms Bayut and dubizzle, announced the merger of their Mena and South Asia operations to form a Dubai-based unicorn company.

Ammar Al Malik, managing director of Dubai Internet City, told Khaleej Times in an interview last year that he expects the technology free zone to be home of at least 10 unicorns in the next decade and the emirate will strengthen its position as a regional hub for the new-age technology companies.

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