When talking about startups in the United Arab Emirates, most people immediately think of Dubai. Widely regarded as a hub of innovation, Dubai has a vast network of young entrepreneurs and a heavily funded startup scene that has earned it the label of one of most promising entrepreneurial markets in the world. Despite this widespread praise, it is not the only emirate that boasts a growing number of startups.
The UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi, is also a hub for countless budding companies. With numerous local startup accelerators fueling the work of entrepreneurs, this city is uniquely positioned to facilitate even more growth in the startup sector. Abu Dhabi’s network of already established startups is indicative of this existing and potential prosperity, with a focus on sectors ranging from health and wellness to business services.
Here are a few Abu Dhabi-based startups that you need to know about:
Kikabo Labs is dedicated to connecting children with local and global art. The startup’s primary goal is to create quality learning materials for children in the United States, Italy, and the UAE. Through the creation of its digital applications, Kikabo Labs is able to showcase famous artistic masterpieces and simultaneously foster the development of children’s observational skills. The startup is best able to support this growth by making learning an interactive experience. Children can use the app to follow the story of main characters Dada and Mati, all while engaging with famous artwork and cultural facts. By allowing users to watch entertaining animation and to play app games, Kikabo Labs makes it easy to learn about even the most challenging topics.
Featured in such local publications as Dubai Confidential and Gulf News, OutChat has revolutionized the way residents of Abu Dhabi connect with one another. Similar to other mobile dating companies, it operates an app through which users can create and browse online profiles of others in their area. Through its “like or pass” system, OutChat allows users to match with one another and initiate a time-restricted chat. The app also lets matches view and select from an array of nearby locations where they can meet for a date or casual hangout. OutChat enables locals to meet potential partners and new friends alike.
One of Abu Dhabi’s most unique startups, Desolenator, has recognized a need for more sustainable means of obtaining purified water. The innovative team behind the company created a patented system that utilizes sunlight as a means of cleansing water. Without the need for any filters or chemicals, the Desolenator can remove impurities such as heavy metals and cholera from any source. The device can even purify seawater, which could prove groundbreaking for those who do not have access to fresh water. Desolenator achieves this by using solar panels to generate the power needed to boil water right inside the device, which makes it easy to use for those who live in both urban and rural areas.
Those who operate offline shops often have difficulty reaching potential customers online and establishing a web presence. By partnering with FeedSpeed, these business owners can create mobile content that will help them to take charge of the ecommerce industry. The startup allows clients to submit their custom logos and other branding items, which it then puts into a professional app for Android devices. In addition to detailed product listings, FeedSpeed includes features such as push notifications, in-app purchases, and coupon code creation to help businesses engage with customers like never before. Since its inception, the startup has helped local entrepreneurs to list nearly 20,000 products across 40 different online stores.
An open source online platform, GitHelp makes it easy for software development teams to get all the assistance they need to achieve success. The startup has opened new lines of communication between developers and code authors, making it easy for them to collaborate on projects. GitHelp has also streamlined the support process for these teams, offering everything from quick answers on SLA issues to assistance with reviewing code. For those who need more help, the startup allows you to connect with a live code editor via video feed. GitHelp’s all-encompassing development services have earned it recognition in publications such as Product Hunt and Forbes.
If you need a helping hand to accomplish all of your daily tasks, then you need look no further than Mashaweer, an innovative errand-running service. Since its inception in 2012, the startup has served both individual and corporate clients across the Middle East. Mashaweer makes it easy for parents to have their children’s forgotten book bags dropped off at their school or for business owners to ensure that they fulfill their daily deliveries. Whatever their needs may be, clients can book a door-to-door delivery either online or by phone. With in-city drop-off times within 90 minutes of an order, Mashaweer’s services are both cost effective and highly efficient.
All parents know that their children incur various expenses throughout the school year, whether they involve books or daily lunches. The startup StudentCart has taken all of these important payments and combined them into a single easy-to-use platform. By signing up on the website, parents will receive regular messages about upcoming payments, which they can conveniently make online. The startup also aims to streamline the process of helping parents to pay for everything from students’ extracurricular activities to their school uniforms. StudentCart also regularly connects parents to online promotions, which can help them to save money on their children’s educational needs.