UAE Entrepreneurship Guide: The Accelerators & Incubators Every Startup Should Know About

With an entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem booming around the UAE, resources for entrepreneurs are growing at an even greater pace. For brave souls willing to take on the world and transform their idea into an actual business, going through an accelerator or an incubator can be a wise choice.

An organization designed to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services that could include physical space, capital, coaching, common services, and networking connections . – Entrepreneur.com

To understand better the difference between Accelerators and Incubators, check this Inc.com article. As NYUAD’s Startupedia puts it, “if an accelerator is the startup equivalent of kindergarten then an incubator is a sort of entrepreneurial preschool“.

Here is the roster of the Incubators and Accelerators you should know about as part of our series UAE Entrepreneurship!


TURN8, Dubai

TURN8 is a remarkable collaboration between enterprise and innovators launched by DP World to foster a global entrepreneurial and innovation culture. The aim is to inject entrepreneurial know-how into the region and accelerate commercialise-able “ideas to market.” This revolutionary program strategically scouts the globe for early stage ideas and concepts that can be refined and brought to market through the TURN8 seed accelerator. The program begins with a rigorous online and event-based international scouting campaign, followed by a 120-day funded “Rapid Fire” Business Modelling and Prototyping seed accelerator, and finally an Investor Demo Day. Extensive follow-on support is provided for graduates. – TURN8.co

Flat6Labs, Abu Dhabi

Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi is a global hub for digital innovation that will support a generation of entrepreneurs from the UAE and abroad to launch digital businesses in Abu Dhabi and scale to regional and global markets. Supported by twofour54, Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi will support startups at idea, early, and growth phases, with a focus on media and digital content, including media and film production, e-commerce, social media, online education, gaming, mobile apps, and big data and analytics. In its competitive core program, Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi will provide entrepreneurs with seed funding, strategic mentorship, office space, a multitude of perks and services from partners, and entrepreneurship-focused business training and development workshops, all engineered to prepare companies to be investment-ready within four and a half months. – Flat6labs.com


In5, Dubai

The in5 innovation centre is an environment that supports entrepreneurship and cultivates the development of the ICT and digital media start-up ecosystem in Dubai. Supporting entrepreneurs from the early stage idea creation, through implementation, right up to the commercial launch of the product or service, the in5 innovation centre offers five key benefits: Set-up Framework, Training, Networking, Access to Funding & Mentorship. – In5

Silicon Oasis Founders, Dubai

Silicon Oasis Founders (SOF), a business incubator, is a wholly owned entity of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), a 100% owned entity by the Government of Dubai. SOF has a strategic commercial ambition and clear long term vision: “To become the leading business incubator that supports regional high potential ventures in the seed phase”. SOF focuses on fostering local entrepreneurial talents in the promising mobile application space and related technologies with strategic start up business loans. SOF’s expertise and incubation services will help emerging entrepreneurs to refine their business proposals, and accelerate growth. – Silicon Oasis Founders

ImpactHub, Dubai

mpact Hub is a campus, a pre-incubator, and a global network for entrepreneurs, in-company innovators, freelancers, designers, creatives, consultants, lawyers, investors, and anyone else who wants to realize their projects and ideas. A single center drawing people together through hosted conversations, curated events and workshops, and spontaneous collisions. – ImpactHub, Dubai

AstroLabs, Dubai

AstroLabs Dubai is the only Google-partnered Tech Hub in the MENA region, serving as a launchpad for the highest potential tech  startups.  The space features a Google-supported mobile device development lab, a training facility, meeting rooms, etc. Through a partnership with the DMCC-Government of Dubai, startups at AstroLabs Dubai will be able to easily obtain a free-zone company license with no upfront costs. – AstroLabs

Photo Credit: Trade Arabia