Sheikh Maktoum opens world’s largest expo for startups

Over 1,800 startups representing more than 100 countries participate in Expand North Star 2023 at Dubai Harbour


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Sheikh Maktoum tours Expand North Star 2023 at Dubai Harbour. — Wam
Sheikh Maktoum tours Expand North Star 2023 at Dubai Harbour. — Wam

Published: Sun 15 Oct 2023, 6:41 PM

Last updated: Sun 15 Oct 2023, 7:01 PM

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, opened Expand North Star 2023, the world’s largest exhibition and conference for startups on Sunday. The exhibition will run for four days at Dubai Harbour.

Over 1,800 startups representing more than 100 countries, are present at the event, which is also attended by more than 1,000 investors, collectively managing assets totalling over $1 trillion.

In addition, Gitex Global, which is the largest gathering of technology majors, will begin on Monday at the Dubai World Trade Centre with over 6,000 companies taking part in it.

“We firmly believe in the potential of our national talent to fuel the growth of the digital economy and enhance Dubai's position as a leading global hub for digital innovation, all while contributing to the development of innovative technology and AI-based solutions,” said Sheikh Maktoum.

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“With the digital economy constituting a crucial pillar of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33), this event aligns with our commitment to create new economic value through digital transformation, with an anticipated annual value of Dh100 billion,” he added.

Saeed Al Gergawi, vice-president of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, said that this year’s exhibition builds on the sell-out success of last year’s North Star Dubai, which led to the launch of around 150 startups in the UAE as a result of deals signed during the exhibition.

A host of new initiatives will be launched at the event, including India Central, which brings the biggest showcase of the Indian tech startup ecosystem featuring the participation of around 300 companies.


In addition, Emaratipreneur Inc., a community-driven networking and development platform designed for Emirati entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors, will feature a first-of-its-kind exhibition area for talented young innovators and startups. At the Emaratipreneur Majlis, panel and group discussions will shed light on creating the next generation of startup superstars, unicorns, and globally renowned entrepreneurs from the UAE's youth ecosystem.

Other key events during the exhibition include the Supernova Challenge; a prestigious pitch competition that offers a prize fund of $200,000; Fintech Surge, which connects fintech companies and startups with financial institutions, investors, regulators, corporates, and SMEs across the Mena region; Future Blockchain Summit, the Mena region’s most immersive large-scale blockchain event; and Marketing Mania, the largest marketing and creative technology trade show in the Mena region, gathering the most prolific, imaginative, and disruptive tech forces.

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