Dubai Startup Hub, an initiative of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, recently kicked off its first-ever roadshow in New Delhi and Bangalore which attracted strong participation and interest from high-potential Indian startups that are keen to enter the Dubai market. The three-day roadshow, organised in cooperation with Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), a wholly-owned tech startup hub owned by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, provided an ideal platform for Indian startups to learn about Dubai’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and the vast opportunities, programmes, and resources it has to offer.
A prestigious competition was held as part of the roadshow which attracted submissions from more than 200 startups in New Delhi and Bangalore. A total of 10 shortlisted startups in both cities were given an opportunity to pitch their businesses to a panel of expert judges. Once selected, the winning startups will receive business setup support from Dtec, the Middle East’s largest startup campus, and a platform to expand their operations into Dubai.
The event was attended by H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, key stakeholders from startup communities in New Delhi and Dubai, venture capitalists, mentors, investors, and entrepreneurs. Later this week, the roadshow will head to Bangalore, a key hub for Indian tech startups known as the Silicon Valley of India, where a similar competition will be held.
During his opening remarks, H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Banna highlighted the special UAE-India relationship which he says has benefited from the countries’ historic ties and close proximity to one another, adding that bilateral relations have strengthened in recent years following high-level delegation visits. He noted that there are still plenty of trade opportunities that can be explored by Indian companies and their UAE counterparts and lauded Dubai Chamber for playing an active role in facilitating bilateral cooperation.
For his part, Omar Khan, Director of International Offices at Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry delivered an informative presentation about the UAE’s business landscape and startup ecosystem, and described Dubai as an ideal market for Indian companies, given the emirate’s historic and strong trade links with India and large Indian population.
“This unique roadshow exceeded our expectations and achieved its objective of attracting high-potential Indian startups to Dubai that can offer their valuable expertise and cutting edge solutions. The initiative supports Dubai Chamber’s efforts to promote Dubai as a global business hub and preferred destination for innovative startups, while it also paved the way for economic cooperation in emerging and innovation-focused industries that are reshaping and advancing Dubai’s economy,” said Khan.
In addition, Khan highlighted recent measures implemented in the UAE which have boosted its attractiveness among foreign investors and companies, including the introduction of a “golden card” permanent residency system for expat investors, many of whom are Indian business owners, and a new 5-year visa for entrepreneurs, adding that such efforts are enhancing the country’s economic competitiveness on a global level.
Hans Henrik Christensen, Vice President of Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus, said: “Our partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry aligns with our commitment to reach out to strategic international markets, such as India. We aim to showcase the benefits that the emirate offers to investors, and attract innovative entrepreneurs to enrich the business environment in Dubai.”
Christensen added: “We are witnessing an increase of applicants seeking an opportunity to set up their business in Dubai, as it’s a world-class destination for individuals and organisations alike, to achieve their ambitions and objectives. Dubai provides investors with advanced infrastructure, business acumen, and a strategic location that ensures easy delivery and distribution of products and solutions to all countries of the world.”
The Dubai Startup Hub Roadshow to India is supported by Startup India, NASSCOM 10000 Startups, Dtec, STEP Group, and Startup Bootcamp. The event in New Delhi featured informative presentations about Dubai’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, roundtable and panel discussions, and success stories from Indian startups that have benefited from the Dubai Startup Hub platform and built successful businesses in Dubai.
Dubai Chamber launched Dubai Startup Hub in 2016 as an online platform to connect startups, entrepreneurs, developers, venture capitalists, and students, enabling them to learn about new opportunities and create new partnerships that stimulate economic growth.