The Middle East has built a thriving startup scene thanks to a growing network of support systems that cater to the needs of budding entrepreneurs. Coworking spaces are one such resource that has become widely popular in cities across the region. These facilities have given local entrepreneurs affordable, shared office space in which they can meet with colleagues and develop their most innovative business ideas. With additional benefits and perks to offer, coworking spaces across the Middle East are reinventing what it means to work in the office.
Here are seven of the best coworking spaces in the Middle East:
AlMaqarr (Cairo, Egypt)
The AlMaqarr coworking space is bringing together innovators of all kinds and providing them with the support they need for success. Within this dedicated space, entrepreneurs can work alongside others in shared office areas or enjoy a quieter space in a private room.
AlMaqarr offers a number of different memberships for entrepreneurs. With a “Worklite” membership, individuals gain access to shared desk space, discounted educational events, and 80 hours of office time per month. “First-Home,” AlMaqarr’s most popular membership option, includes 220 hours of office time each month, as well as access to private meeting rooms. All AlMaqarr memberships come with such amenities as WiFi Internet, access to a photocopier, free coffee, and graphic design services.
Upscale (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
Upscale works with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups to help them develop their ideas and expand their business. Established in early 2017, this coworking space allows members to work at shared desks and cubicles or in more private meeting rooms. Each of these spaces is available on either an hourly or monthly basis, making it easy for entrepreneurs to find the right membership for their budget.
Aside from its more traditional coworking space features, Upscale provides a number of business development services to its members. For example, entrepreneurs can work alongside experienced consultants to improve a business concept and receive other in-depth advice. Upscale also provides the resources that startups need to build a company brand, develop communication processes, and create digital media.
MAKE Business Hub (Dubai, UAE)
Open to entrepreneurs and freelancers alike, MAKE has created a space where creative professionals can make their dreams a reality. Whether they need a desk only for the day or require a more long-term office setup, these individuals can find an option that suits their needs. Each MAKE package comes with different features; all include WiFi access and office time. This gives its members more flexibility when it comes to their selection of services.
To better support its resident entrepreneurs, MAKE regularly hosts events on topics such as design and technology. People can even share their business ideas through one of the facility’s pitching booths.
CoworkInn (Dahab, Egypt)
Situated at the southernmost end of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, CoworkInn is known as one of the most beautiful coworking spaces in the Middle East. Entrepreneurs and other “digital nomads” can use the resort-like space for business meetings and collaboration. CoworkInn boasts a wide array of traditional coworking features, including complimentary WiFi, a designated Skype Booth, and private meeting rooms. On-site accommodations are also available for those who want to stay for a few weeks or months.
Perhaps the most unique feature of CoworkInn is its location. While working, entrepreneurs can enjoy stunning views of the Red Sea. During breaks, they can take a dip in the pool, lounge on the roof deck, or spend an hour on the beach.
Oasis500 (Amman, Jordan)
Like other coworking spaces, Oasis500 boasts a wide array of office facilities that technology entrepreneurs can use to work on their ideas and collaborate with business partners. To keep things fun for its startups, the facility also features a multicolor slide that runs between the highest and lowest floors of the building.
Oasis500 complements its coworking space with a well-respected accelerator program that has graduated more than 130 startups and 2,000 entrepreneurs. As part of the program, startups receive access to funding and mentorship.
Antwork (Beirut, Lebanon)
Known as a “hub for the independent workforce,” Antwork has built a diverse community of entrepreneurs, innovators, and freelance workers of all kinds. Between meeting rooms, private offices, and event space, the coworking facility has all the amenities that members need to get their work done.
Antwork also boasts a unique service called the Work Cloud, a digital platform through which users can access helpful productivity applications such as calendars, an invoicing tool, and a website builder.
In addition, Antwork’s facility features outdoor gardens where members can relax and a culinary lab that offers cooking classes. Antwork has also incorporated other entertaining activities, such as storytelling time and yoga sessions.
Urban Station (Cairo, Egypt)
As one of the first international coworking networks, Urban Station serves the needs of entrepreneurs and mobile workers in five countries. At its headquarters in Egypt, the company offers both standard office resources and a number of more unique features, including virtual office space and DHL shipping services. Urban Station also holds regular workshops and seminars for its resident entrepreneurs.
Among the many benefits it offers, Urban Station helps entrepreneurs save money while developing their startups. That’s because the company offers access to coworking space on an hourly basis, which means that members only pay for the time they actually spend there.