The grand economic vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has led to the creation of thriving technology hubs like Dubai Internet City that have transformed the industry in the region and made Dubai a major global innovation and start-up hotspot, said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.
Sheikh Hamdan said the emirate’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem has enabled a host of technology start-ups to script global success stories. From world-leading infrastructure and regulatory frameworks to availability of incubators and smart funding, Dubai provides all the elements needed for new ventures of all sizes to succeed.
Sheikh Hamdan’s remarks came during a meeting with Pavel Durov, Founder and CEO of Telegram, one of the world’s leading cloud-based instant messaging and VoIP services. Globally headquartered in Dubai, Telegram is valued at more than $20 billion, and has more than 570 million users, out of which 100 million were acquired in January alone.
He said: “Dubai’s ability to provide a productive growth-oriented environment for technology start-ups is validated by the fact that some the world’s most exciting and successful digital companies like Telegram have chosen to run their ventures out of the emirate. We continue to welcome great talent and ideas to Dubai which offers a nurturing ecosystem for their development.”
Pavel Durov, Founder and CEO of Telegram, expressed his appreciation for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision for a vibrant technological community, which has played an important role in driving growth, innovation and entrepreneurship in the technology sector far beyond Dubai’s borders. The startup ecosystem, advanced infrastructure and business-friendly legislation offered by Dubai has made it a hub for talent and entrepreneurs aspiring to go global from all over the world.”
In 2020, Telegram became one of the 10 most downloaded and popular apps in the world. By 2022, it is expected to have one billion active users per month.
Telegram is one of a series of global entrepreneurial successes that have emerged out of Dubai over the last few years. Other notable ones include Careem, acquired by Uber; Souq.com, the first unicorn company in the Middle East, acquired by Amazon; Media.Net, one of the world’s largest ad tech companies; Anghami, an Arabic music streaming platform; and Wrappup, the developer of an AI-based productivity app, acquired by US tech firm Voicera. Last year, Dubai-based Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG) and OLX Group, owners of homegrown technology firms Bayut and dubizzle, announced the merger of their MENA and South Asia operations to form a Dubai-based unicorn company. These companies have shown the world how Dubai enables startups to dream big and achieve even bigger.