A Look at the Tech Startup Scene in Abu Dhabi

Technology permeates all facets of our personal and professional lives. In regions such as the Middle East, technology has become increasingly prominent in daily life due to the numerous startups that are using innovative digital platforms to meet the needs of locals.

Middle Eastern tech startups took in an impressive $650 million in investment in 2017 alone, with 33 percent of the funds going toward businesses in the UAE, according to a new report from ArabNet and Dubai SME. While Dubai may be leading digital entrepreneurship in the Middle East, the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi, is home to a thriving tech startup ecosystem of its own. Here is a look at some of the most interesting tech startups that call Abu Dhabi home:



dashroadlogoDesigned for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Dashroad leverages platform-as-a-service solutions to help its clients manage their fleets of vehicles. The firm uses dongle technology to facilitate worldwide vehicle tracking at an affordable price. Whether SMEs are looking to oversee a fleet of 100 cars or to manage a single vehicle, Dashroad makes it easy to monitor all aspects of vehicle use.

SMEs can easily deploy these services by installing the Dashroad black box in their vehicles. In as little as 15 minutes, users can begin supervising their fleets for performance, driving history, and more. Dashroad also helps SMEs to monitor their vehicles’ return on investment (ROI) and determine how they can conserve money using their fleets. These features make the platform an ideal fit for mobility firms of all kinds, ranging from startups to rental car organizations.


Cinema Showtimes UAE

For UAE consumers who are looking to watch the latest films, finding the most accurate showtimes and information can often prove to be a hassle. The first mobile app of its kind in the country, Cinema Showtimes UAE consolidates information from local cinemas into one convenient location.

By specifying their emirate, those looking for available films can obtain a list of every cinema nearby to find out what movies they currently have. Users can also search for films by actor, genre, or even content. Cinema Showtimes UAE offers a user-friendly interface that enables movie enthusiasts to find all the information they may want about the latest releases. The app even includes movie trailers, which can help people to find new films to add to their watch lists.


Alpha Apps

alphaappslogoEstablished in 2007, Alpha Apps designs mobile and web applications for clients across the Middle East. In collaboration with partners such as GitHub Enterprise and Amazon Web Services, the startup focuses solely on Arabic-speaking users to bring them apps that are exciting and sustainable.

Alpha Apps works hand-in-hand with its clients to develop applications that will help them to achieve their business objectives. Each app goes through concept, design, and development stages in order to meet every specification. Alpha Apps then oversees the user acquisition process, using marketing tactics to ensure that every app makes the greatest impact possible.

A widely experienced app developer, Alpha Apps has created games, edutainment platforms, and enterprise content. One of the firm’s most popular titles, Almwajaha, features more than 20,000 puzzling trivia questions for users to answer.


clearmoveAn online platform, Clearmove helps individuals and businesses to facilitate seamless moves to cities across the UAE. When planning a move, users can compare different cities to determine which ones will best accommodates their budget. On the site, they can also find guides that offer information about local visa requirements, activities, and properties.

Aside from general moving tips, users can use Clearmove to handle the specifics of their move. For those who are relocating their families, the startup can help them to find the best neighborhoods and schools at their destinations. Clearmove can also assist businesses that are transferring employees by handling all aspects of the moving process on their behalf.



unnyhoglogoUnnyhog, one of the most innovative game developers in the Middle East, creates titles for both PC and mobile devices. Seeking to deliver “digital happiness” to its users, the startup has created five thrilling games. For example, Watee is a puzzle game with 60 levels. Players have control of a digital aquarium for their pet, Watee. In order to increase Watee’s happiness, players must leverage the physics of water, bubbles, and steam to fill its aquarium.

Hero Masters is perhaps Unnyhog’s most ambitious game. Set in a fantasy environment, this title features over 350 heroes for players to collect. As they build their teams, they must fight their way out of dungeons and foreign planets by battling their enemies.



HayyalogoA unique social app, Hayya enables users to facilitate all kinds of payments with ease. Through this convenient portal, individuals can send money to their friends and collect it via text message. They can also shop for products online and make purchases from major retailers without the need to visit their websites. If they are sharing their purchases with others, they can use Hayya to split the payment.

Hayya also has a “money pot” feature that allows users to collectively save funds for certain causes. Whether they want to fundraise for a charity or save up for a group trip, they can contribute funds to a single pool and invite others to join them.

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