Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF), an initiative launched by the UAE Ministry of Finance to support nationwide innovation, has partnered with Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the free zone technology park and member of Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), to support emerging technology start-ups in the UAE through Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), the largest tech hub and co-working space in the MENA region. Under the partnership, members of the MBRIF Innovation Accelerator programme will be granted discounted lease rates, license, and processing fee waivers for the first year, and access to all business activities in DSO, enabling them to engage with the largest network of SMEs and technology entrepreneurs from around the world in the region.
Commenting on the announcement, Fatima Al Naqbi, Chief Innovation Officer at the Ministry of Finance and MBRIF representative, said, “A flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem can only be achieved when we empower innovation by providing the ideal space, resources, and opportunities for growth. At MBRIF, our aim is to support innovative businesses to grow and make a positive economic and social impact on the communities in the UAE through strategic partnerships and collaborations with public and private entities. Since our members have continuously exceeded expectations and repeatedly demonstrated the power of entrepreneurship in transforming lives, industries, and economies, our partnership with Dtec will provide our members with a stimulating environment where they can network and collaborate with entrepreneurs from around the world and find potential investors to scale-up their operations and continue their growth.”
Ghanim Al Falasi, Senior Vice President of Technology and Entrepreneurship at DSO, said: “Empowering entrepreneurs and emerging technology startups is crucial to the growth of the innovation-based digital economy. Dubai Silicon Oasis, as a hub for innovation and knowledge in the Dubai Urban Master Plan 2040, has been working since its inception to attract technology companies of various sizes, emerging, small, medium, and large. This contributes to enhancing Dubai’s status as a global capital of technology and digitalization, supporting local talents and competencies, and enabling owners of innovative and promising ideas. It also supports the objectives of the UAE’s Digital Economy Strategy to double the contribution of the digital economy to the UAE’s gross domestic product.”
Al Falasi added, “This valuable cooperation between DSO and MBRIF extends the advanced capabilities of the Dubai Technology Entrepreneurship Campus (Dtec), the largest center of its kind for technology and co-working spaces in the Middle East, to entrepreneurs and innovators in the technology sectors. This solidifies Dubai’s status as a preferred destination to establish and grow businesses.”
The agreement also provides flexible terms for visa processing and activity lists where MBRIF members will not be restricted to the activity list at Dtec but instead have access to all business activities in DSO. The partnership emphasizes the significance of joint efforts to provide technology startups with the opportunity to network and collaborate and contribute to UAE’s National Innovation Strategy and economic growth.
MBRIF is a federal initiative conceived and launched by the UAE Ministry of Finance (MoF). The initiative seeks to identify and nurture high-potential innovations both within the UAE and abroad. It aims to enhance the growth potential of innovative businesses and shape the future of the UAE economy. Currently, the MBRIF consists of two programs, Guarantee Scheme and Innovation Accelerator.
Dtec is the largest tech hub and co-working space in the MENA region and has a base of operations for more than 1,054 startups from 75 countries. The campus provides co-working spaces and serves as an accelerator hub for businesses and research and development, as well as the opportunity to participate in events and learn from local and international experts. It also provides venture capitalist support for businesses, as well as business leasing, licenses and licensing procedures, and institutional bank accounts.