11 of the Most Innovative Middle Eastern Startups

In cities throughout the Middle East, entrepreneurship is growing at an exponential rate. A number of innovative companies have emerged that promise to change the future of technology. Here is a look at some startups that have gained international attention due to their unique, progressive ideas.

  1. Instabug

Appealing primarily to other startups, Instabug allows people to shake their phone whenever they find a bug in a mobile application. The shaking motion signals the app to automatically submit an error report, complete with a screenshot of the problem, to help developers get a better idea of what caused the error. All of this functionality happens seamlessly and the user never has to close the offending app to open Instabug. Because both developers and consumers can use this app to refine products quickly and effectively, this company is positioned to have an outsized effect on product development.

  1. RecycloBekia

In countries around the world, people often wonder how to recycle their used electronic parts. Throwing these products into the trash can have detrimental environmental effects, yet finding places that accept and recycle them can prove a challenge. Based in Egypt, RecycloBekia collects these parts directly from individuals, groups, and businesses and then sells them to both local and international parties for reuse. A team of 20 university students founded this project.

  1. Nafham

Addressing the need for better access to education in the Middle East, Nafham borrows heavily from the Khan Academy model. The company has created a Middle East-specific platform for video-based learning through which students have access to more than 6,000 videos free of charge on a range of topics. While Nafham programmers have designed the lessons to align with Egyptian curricula, individuals throughout the Middle East can benefit from the lessons.

  1. Sohati


A startup that bridges the technology and healthcare sectors, Sohati provides high-quality medical information for people living in the Middle East. The company focuses on content that people can easily access and understand. Individuals can also use the startup’s technology to find great local doctors. An in-house team of editors has worked diligently with independent doctors to create and organize the startup’s content. Already, Sohati serves as a comprehensive resource for the region.

  1. Alhodhud

Based in Jordan, Alhodhud develops young children’s educational programs that are fun and engaging. The programs focus on literacy and teach children to read through games that utilize sounds, bright colors, and animals for a memorable experience. Alhodhud successfully walks the line between entertainment and education with an app that is unique in its integration of entertainment and education.

  1. Drawdeck

A startup from the United Arab Emirates, Drawdeck has created a rich art network that allows art lovers and collectors to interact with art-focused companies and independent artists. Through the network, individuals can collaborate, sell works, and seek out commissioned pieces. Emerging artists can create a portfolio on Drawdeck that allows them to boost their careers and quickly start selling prints and original pieces.

  1. Shopbuilder


Smaller companies do not always have the knowledge necessary to create their own e-commerce sites or the resources needed to hire a web designer. To solve this problem, Shopbuilder, a Lebanon-based company, provides a simple platform for building online stores for people with no programming or design experience. The platform provides an affordable, highly simplified process that makes e-commerce more accessible throughout the Middle East.

  1. eKtab


 This Jordanian startup has created the first, and now largest, collection of Arabic electronic books. In addition to making e-books more accessible, eKtab also provides a platform for publishing new books online. Customers can also access translated, international materials, including poetry books, histories, and works of fiction. For parents of young children, eKtab provides downloadable Arabic children’s books.

  1. Wally

Designed to meet the money management needs of the Arab world, Wally allows individuals to balance income and expenses directly on their smartphone. This app helps people keep track of where they spend money and encourages users to set monetary goals that they can achieve by tracking their financial activity on the app. With the touch of a button, users can better understand their spending patterns and take control of their financial future.

  1. Foona Review

Made for food lovers, Foona Review provides a single network for sharing reviews of restaurants, food experiences, and favorite recipes. As a public space, the network encourages interactions between foodies and the restaurants in their neighborhoods. Restaurants can gain valuable feedback while also building a following. And by engaging potential customers in the network’s integrated Kickstarter funds, rising chefs can achieve their dreams of creating new restaurants.

  1. Kngine

Challenging Google as the go-to search engine, Kngine provides highly detailed results for questions that are either typed or submitted via voice technology. Kngine engineers have focused on user experience, and the startup has consequently grown rapidly since its inception.


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