There’s no denying that the Arab startup ecosystem is thriving. With local entrepreneurs focusing their work in every sector from education to retail, there is a startup out there fulfilling virtually every consumer need. As we enter 2019, it’s important to keep some of the biggest rising startups from recent years on your radar and watch them continue to grow.
Here are a few amazing Middle Eastern startups you should be watching:
The winner of the top prize at the Dubai Startup Challenge, Mabany facilitates more seamless communication between rental management companies and their tenants. Young entrepreneur Khalid Al Awar established the startup after quitting his job, which allowed him to focus on addressing a challenge that many Emiratis face on a day-to-day basis.
Built on a cloud-based system, Mabany features easy-to-use interfaces for management and tenants. On their dashboards, facility managers can review pending requests from tenants, manage staff, and see all of their tenants in one convenient location. Through the app, managers can also distribute announcements to all residents using push notifications.
The Mabany mobile app allows tenants to submit maintenance tickets that note their availability and the urgency of the request. When the work is done, users can review the technicians that assisted them and provide feedback to their facility managers.
Previously known as InternsMe, Oliv helps connect students and new college graduates with internship and employment opportunities at companies across the UAE. From regional companies like Careem to major international brands like Samsung, over 1,000 companies rely on the site for their hiring needs.
Budding professionals can search for available jobs and internships based on their skillsets, college majors, and career goals. They can also reach out to Oliv for assistance in developing their online profiles and preparing for interviews. Before applying to jobs, users must go through a review process that assesses their ability to communicate, their personalities, and more.
For employers, Oliv leverages data algorithms to match the most qualified candidates with each job posting, so that each company can find the best person for the role.
Headquartered in Dubai, Junkbot offers an interactive creation kit that introduces some of the most fundamental STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) concepts to people of all ages. Aspiring inventors can use the kit to create their own robots using junk from around the home. Whether they have extra cardboard or used water bottles, kids and adults can program robots for nearly any purpose. Junkbot’s most popular projects include Abzod Robot, a device that can take the user’s temperature, and Aware Cap, a hat that monitors the wearer’s surroundings for high UV rays.
Those looking to engage in even more creative projects can participate in one of the coding and robotics workshops at Junkbot. These programs cover a variety of topics, from artificial intelligence to mobile app creation.
Parents in the UAE can discover a wide array of schools, nurseries, extracurricular programs, activities, and classes for their children at afterschool.ae. Available as a website and mobile app, the platform has consolidated information on a wide range of providers in multiple cities in the UAE, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and others. When browsing, parents can view information on a provider’s location, the age ranges they cater to, dates and times of classes and programs, and pricing. For busy parents, the site and app make it easy to find and book activities and childcare.
Headquartered in Egypt, Stabraq is a retailer looking to innovate the traditional t-shirt with interesting designs and a stylish twist. Aside from its lines of graphic tees and sweaters, the startup has become well known for its groundbreaking Sajdaflap polo shirts. Designed for practicing Muslims, this garment boasts a long back that keeps the wearer covered during prayer. Stabraq has also paired style and function in its Serwal Joggers line, which features stylish, yet comfortable men’s pants for daily wear.
Maharati is creating new avenues for skilled freelancers to find jobs online. A unique “microlancer marketplace,” the site enables businesses to fill any skills gaps by searching for talented professionals who can get the job done. Whether they need someone to do voice-over work, develop a company logo, or create a new website, they can find the right microlancer through Maharati. This can help companies scale their businesses more quickly and with less capital.
Concurrently, Maharati allows freelancers to market any professional skill to the companies who can use them the most. This allows people to earn money while doing what they love on a flexible basis.
A runner up in the 2018 MIT Arab Startup Competition, the food delivery app Plotos is helping people find healthy, nutritious meals from their favorite eateries in the UAE. Through the app, users can search for restaurant menu and grocery items that fit their particular diet or nutritional needs. Every food includes relevant nutritional information so they can make the best choice. Plotos also allows users to create custom menus and to order directly from the app. The food is then delivered right to their door, which makes it easier to eat well even in a pinch.