DMCC, the global gateway for commodity trade and enterprise in Dubai, and Middle East entrepreneurship platform, AstroLabs, yesterday announced the launch of the Middle East's first Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub, AstroLabs Dubai, at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco.
With the opening of the facility planned for early next year, AstroLabs Dubai will welcome tech entrepreneurs from across the globe seeking to access high-growth emerging markets. The AstroLabs Dubai Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub will be based in Dubai's DMCC Free Zone, an ideal location for start-ups to scale their ventures in new markets, with one-third of the world's population accessible in a four hour flight.
Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of the DMCC, said, "We welcome Dubai's first tech hub to the DMCC Free Zone. Dubai is a city built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs inspired by the strength and vision of the leadership of the Emirate, and projects like the AstroLabs Dubai launch reflect the calibre of start-ups that make this vision a reality. As these start-ups grow and flourish we hope to see them join the future powerhouses of large corporates and multinationals destined to see DMCC's ‘Burj 2020 District' as their new business address." Google for Entrepreneurs selected AstroLabs Dubai as the newest member of its global Tech Hub network, making it the only Google-partnered hub in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Bridgette Beam, Senior Manager at Google for Entrepreneurs, said, "The AstroLabs founders are experienced entrepreneurs who know how to accelerate the growth of early stage companies. We see enormous potential for them to help start-ups across MENA take their ideas to the global stage." Gautam Sashittal, Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said, "At DMCC we are constantly enhancing our Free Zone offering to support start-ups, SMEs and large corporates alike. Bringing the first Google for Entrepreneurs and AstroLabs Dubai collaboration to Dubai and the DMCC Free Zone is exciting and the next natural step in enabling start-ups to innovate and grow." The new AstroLabs Dubai hub will feature an advanced mobile device development lab, co-designed with Google for Entrepreneurs, to enable start-ups to build apps for the highest smartphone penetration markets globally. The 6,500 square foot facility will be fully flexible with a large training space, feature a bustling cafe, and will be set on a beautiful promenade overlooking a park. In-house experts in user experience design, digital marketing, and operational optimisation will make the space a centre of deep subject matter expertise.
AstroLabs Founding Partner, Muhammed Mekki, added, "With AstroLabs Dubai we aim to put Dubai on the global entrepreneurial map as the best base for high-growth start-ups to access emerging markets and to play a direct role in fostering more successful tech entrepreneurship within the MENA region."