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UAE’s Top 10 Startup Incubators & Accelerators 
Are you looking for capital and/or mentorship for your startup in the United Arab Emirates? Beyond funding, UAE’s startup accelerators also offer entrepreneurs and founders incredible valuable support for product development, sales and marketing.
So whether you are looking to find a co-founder, build your MVP and/or get the seed money you need to get started or scale up, incubators and accelerators are your best pick.
In this article we have listed out UAE’s top 10 startup incubators and accelerators. So, if you haven’t yet started to apply, here is a good place to start learning about them.
Looking for UAE’s top startup venture capital firms instead? Check out our ranking here.
UAE’s Top 10 Startup Incubators & Accelerators
Here’s a summary table with of UAE’s top 10 startup incubators and accelerators:
|Name||# startups to date||Program length||Investment size||Sector focus|
|DIFC Fintech Hive||140+||N/A||None||FinTech, InsurTech, RegTech and Islamic FinTech|
|Dtec||N/A||12 months||$150k in perks* +$50k equity||Sector agnostic|
|Faster Capital||480||$70m+||50% business development costs||Sector agnostic|
|Flat 6 Labs||35+||4 months||$100k – $150k **||Sector agnostic (digital businesses)|
|In5||500+||N/A||$165M (total funding)||Sector agnostic|
|Intelak||N/A||2 months||50,000 AED (incubator)||Aviation, Travel and Tourism|
|Interplay VC||13||3 months||$250k in perks*||Sector agnostic|
|Krypto Labs||300+||4 months||None||Sector agnostic|
|Plug And Play||54||N/A||None ***||FinTech, Healthcare and Industry|
|TURN8||100+ (globally)||N/A||N/A ***||HealthTech, FinTech, Transportation and Logistics, SaaS, Smart Cities, AI and IOT|
|Wamda||13||4 months||Up to $130k||Sector agnostic|
* Credits from partners
** Plus an additional $200k – $500k for potential follow-on investments
*** Successful applicants may receive funding from the in-house VC fund (custom terms apply)
Need a Pitch Deck?
1. DIFC Fintech Hive
DIFC Fintech Hive is a startup hub dedicated to fintech businesses and encompasses different incubator and accelerator programs, networking events and a VC fund.
They run 3 main programs designed for different startups and founders:
- Fintech Accelerator Program for early-stage businesses (pre-seed to seed)
- Accelerate HER for female-led startups in the financial services industry
- Fintech Scale Up Program for Series A+ startups
For the full list of their programmes, have a look at their website here.
Dtec is a startup centre that runs a coworking space, a startup accelerator program and VC fund (Dtec Ventures).
Dtec’s own startup accelerator, SANDBOX, offers startups 100+ hours of 1-1 mentorship, access to up to $150,000 in perks from high-profile companies (Stripe, Amazon, etc.) and exposure to VC funds.
In addition to the $150k perks, by participating to the program you agree to give Dtc the right to invest up to $50,000 for 2.5% of equity.
3. Faster Capital
Faster Capital is a startup incubator and accelerator based in Dubai. They run 2 separate programs for startups:
- Idea to Product: an incubation program whereby founders can get support to build their MVP and define their monetization strategy
- Grow your startup. It’s a startup accelerator program that allows businesses to scale up their operations by investing in marketing, product development and/or sales & business development
Unlike other accelerators, Faster Capital doesn’t offer a one-size-fits-all investment. Instead, they offer to pay up to 50% of the business development costs founders need to either build a MVP (incubation program) or scale their business (accelerator).
4. Flat 6 Labs
Flat 6 Labs is a startup accelerator program with multiple locations across the Middle East. Their program in Abu Dhabi is sector-agnostic and runs for 4 months during which founders get support to develop their product, test market fit and improve their business model.
Also, Flat 6 Labs partnered with the VC fund DisruptAD to offer startups seed investment of up to $100k – $150k. They can also increase their participation with follow on investments of up to $200k – $500k additional capital.
In5 is one of UAE’s top tech hubs. Founded in 2015, In5 offers startups with an accelerator program that offers startups mentorship programmes, co-working spaces and access to investors.
Since its inception, In5 has accepted over 500+ startups and helped them raise a total $126 million funding to date (AED 465 million).
Unlike other accelerators, In5’s program doesn’t run for a specific number of months. Instead, it accepts applications on a rolling basis and offers startups support until they reach sufficient scale.
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Intelak is a top-notch startup centre focused on aviation, travel and tourism industries of the UAE region. They run both an incubator for early-stage companies and an accelerator program for late-stage startups.
Both their programs are supported by high-profile companies including Emirates, Microsoft and Accenture.
Startups that participate to their incubator program can benefit to AED 50,000 seed investment. The accelerator program, in comparison, doesn’t necessarily come with any investment and runs for 8 weeks.
7. Krypto Labs
Krypto Labs is another of UAE’s top startup centre. In addition with coworking spaces and networking events, they also run their own startup accelerator program: The Bridge.
The program is aimed at startups with a MVP that need support to scale and grow.
As such, the program offers startups up to $60,000 in perks with partner companies, 4-month program of custom training and mentorship. Also, they offer unparalleled exposure to angel investors and VC funds at the end of the program. In return, startups will need to give away 5% equity.
8. Plug And Play
Plug and Play is a global startup accelerator that runs 50+ programs in 35+ worldwide. Their chapter in Abu Dhabi actually runs 3 different accelerator programs: Fintech, Healthcare and Industry 4.0.
Since their inception in 2015, they have supported 54 startups.
In addition, successful applicants may receive funding from Plug and Play’s own VC fund that invests in over 250+ businesses each year.
TURN8 is a global VC fund with offices in Dubai, Denver and San Francisco. They focus on a range of industries, namely: HealthTech, FinTech, Transportation and Logistics, SaaS, Smart Cities, AI and IOT.
TURN8 runs their own incubator program: Venture Studio. To date, they have incubated 100+ startups across the US and UAE.
In addition to mentorship, successful applicants to their incubator program may receive funding from TURN8’s own VC fund as well as its investor network.
Wamda is another of UAE’s major VC fund: Wamda Capital. In addition to their VC fund, they also run their own incubator program, Wamda X, which was founded in 2019 and is based in Dubai.
Wamda X runs for 4 months during which Startups receive $30k in return for 5% equity as well as a potential additional $100k for 10% equity.