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Community and Media Resources for Entrepreneurs in the UAE
Similar to some of the content in the Wamda Country Info Center for UAE, this series of articles by Kia Davis offers an up-to-date, comprehensive list of resources for entrepreneurs looking to get set up or expand in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or any part of the UAE. (Also, all companies with an asterisk were founded by entrepreneurs in the UAE). The series includes the following resources:
ADVICE & INFORMATION
The Intelligent SME: SME business network, including online and print magazine, blog, events series, and service provider listings. The site covers entrepreneurship news while highlighting government involvement and regulatory news.
Middle East/North Africa Private Equity Association (MENA PEA): an online site for the PE industry that provides a listing of investor companies (including venture capitalists) and includes resources on setting up in the UAE.
Startup Circle: Facebook discussion group for founders that centers around asking and receiving advice/referrals, announcing events, and debuting new startups. Membership is by invitation by the group’s creator David Haddad of PressPass.
Arabcrunch: English and Arabic blog dedicated to profiling and reviewing Arab originated tech startups and existing companies.
SME Connect: support organization for entrepreneurs and SMEs offering workshops, seminars and networking events, focusing on best practices, expert advice, improving business processes, increasing efficiency, enhancing employee skills as well as helping with cost optimization and future business plans.
Wamda Media: English and Arabic online site/portal for the Middle East and North African startup community, with articles, success stories, videos, tips, news, original content, and resources on being an entrepreneur, from fundraising to leadership skills.
Dubai Tech Nights: A meetup Group of 1000+ members that meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 6:30pm to discuss technology and ways to fuel entrepreneurship and innovation in MENA.
Mobile Mondays (MoMo): An open community for mobile industry visionaries, developers and influential individuals.
Startup Weekend Dubai and Abu Dhabi: A 54-hour startup bootcamp and competition, where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch ideas, form teams, and go from idea to startup prototype in two days. These high-energy weekends are supported by the government and other agencies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Both Startup Weekends were organized by Kamal Hassan of Innovation 360, Deem AlBassam, and Sara Falaknaz.
Textello*: An SMS-based audience polling technology that can also be used for surveys and events. The cost to user is the same as regular SMS.
TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs): A not-for-profit organization focused on entrepreneurship and wealth creation. Events, which bring in speakers from the TiE global network, include founders’ stories, success stories, and panel discussions, and have featured the Dubizzle founders.
Kia Davis is a mentor, advisor, temporary operating executive, and "Fairy Godmother" for startups, living in Dubai. You can find her on Twitter @kiardavis.
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