10 Popular Coworking Spaces in the Arab World
As more and more people catch the entrepreneurial spirit in the Arab world, there is an increasing need for innovation-friendly spaces to expand and refine new ideas.
Today, coworking spaces across the region are filling this gap, offering entrepreneurs, freelancers, and startups a comfortable atmosphere to turn ideas into tangible projects.
Below is a list of some of the best coworking spaces in the region, many of which were only launched in the past few months. Let us know in the comments section below if you've made any of these places your working home, or if there are other spaces you enjoy that may not be on the list.
The spaces are listed alphabetically.
In Cairo, 302labs was recently launched by Mostafa Saeed and Wassim Kastenous. The space offers a place for young startups and freelancers to meet, cowork, and brainstorm. Complete with work spaces, meeting rooms, break rooms, free refreshments, and lockers to store your things, the space also boasts an “entertainment room” that has a TV and Xbox for when you really need a break. Users can host business meetings, attend talks and events, as well as hackathons, workshops and other activities in the space. WamdaCard members benefit from exclusive benefits at 302labs.
Located in Beirut, AltCity was cofounded by David Munir Nabti, Dima Saber, Samer Azar, and Julnar Doueik, as well as Wamda Managing Editor Maya Rahal. With a fresh, industrial feel and a focus on social entrepreneurship, AltCity provides business development services, workspaces, and event planning, recently hosting a variety of trainings, exhibits, and workshops for entrepreneurial, activist, and media communities (including Wamda's recent Mix n Mentor event in Beirut).
Cloud 5 (Beirut)
Last week, Solidere launched Cloud 5, an emerging coworking space for startups and entrepreneurs, offering access to high-speed internet and a comfortable, convenient workspace in Beirut’s city center. The space will be a combination of workspaces and coworking space, with three startups already set to fill parts of the venue; Vinelab, Procomix, and Wamda. The space’s development was led by Richard Azoury, in coordination with Wamda, to be a catalyzing spot for entrepreneurship and collaboration. Wamda will be relocating to the space in the coming month to join an atmosphere of excited and innovative entrepreneurs.
The District (Cairo)
Launched earlier this year in Cairo by Mazen Helmy and Ahmad Maher, The District offers entrepreneurs access to coworking space as well as advice. One unique element is their “Virtual Office;” for a small amount, The District will sit down and discuss your business with you, from your goals and mission to your individual team members, while providing a business address, telephone number and reception services for up to 6 months. The space offers individual workspaces, larger meeting rooms, two lounges, a library, a kitchen, and a rooftop terrace. With glass-plated desks for note-taking, it's an innovative space that has quickly gained traction in Cairo. WamdaCard members benefit from exclusive benefits at The District.
Recently launched in Egypt, eco-friendly coworking space icecairo is the third installation of icehubs, an international coworking space brand. Targeting an environmental niche, icecairo focuses heavily on sustainable and green startups, boasting several eco-friendly setups including recycled furniture, a water purification system, plant irrigation, a hydrogenous fuel cell that produces energy from water, and a composting system to recycle and reuse organic waste. Though it is only just starting, it speaks to a growing interest in environmental sustainability among Cairo’s entrepreneurs.
iNSANE! (pronounced in-sahn, which means “human being” in Arabic) is the first coworking space in Morocco. Launched in Casablanca earlier this year, iNSANE! was co-founded by four young Moroccan entrepreneurs: Ibtissam El Ghinaoui Bargache, Kenza Benamour, Myriem Hashambhoy and Mehdi Bellatig. The space is divided into several work areas, quiet rooms, and a cafeteria, each with a comfortable, colorful, and uniquely minimalist vibe. iNSANE! also offers a regular event series to give entrepreneurs training and networking opportunities.
MAKE Business Hub (Dubai)
Founded by Leith Matthews earlier this year, MAKE Business Hub is a vibrant coworking space in Dubai that offers customized furniture and work-friendly cuisine for small teams, individual innovators, or mobile workers. The space even offers “pitching” booths that entrepreneurs can reserve for meetings as well as chalkboards dedicated to group brainstorming sessions. The space is customized for mobile workers down to the last detail. WamdaCard members benefit from exclusive benefits at MAKE Business Hub.
ADDED: Oasis500 (Amman)
Oasis500’s new location offers a spacious and friendly atmosphere with a series of small meeting rooms, offices, large desk space, and a conference room for entrepreneurs and new startups. The space also offers member entrepreneurs invitations to skills training workshops and events. It's a great spot for events in Amman- we held our recent Mix n’ Mentor Jordan event here; they even have a slide to get from one floor to another. WamdaCard members benefit from exclusive benefits at Oasis500.
The Pavilion Downtown Dubai (Dubai)
Founded in 2011, The Pavilion Downtown Dubai is a spacious “non-profit contemporary art space” that provides a place to view, discuss and participate in works by local and international artists. With an open workspace with two art galleries, a café and restaurant, an outdoor lounge, cinema, library, and espresso bar, The Pavilion offers a platform to support the work of rising artists in the region. It's an ideal location for events in Dubai- we recently held our Mix n’ Mentor Dubai event here.
Rasheed22 is a bit different than the others on the list. The Cairo-based space doesn't have set working hours and relies heavily on the community to keep the place open. The project asks for a small fee for hourly, daily, or monthly use and those who would like to join must call ahead to make sure somebody is there to let them in. The kitchen is open for those who wish to bring their own food, and coffee and tea is available, users just have to put whatever they feel is fair into a collection box. Rasheed22 is more like a hackerspace and open community for internet and business meetings; make your reservation in advance to be sure somebody is “home” in the space.
Shelter in Dubai is a free coworking space, tailored to entrepreneurs and new startups during the early stages of their business development. The location is a decorated warehouse with a comfortable “shelter” built indoors, offering a unique and very cool space to work, study, brainstorm, and innovate. Shelter also provides events and series to target the needs of early stage businesses including panel discussions, workshops, and lectures offered on a monthly basis.
Beirut Digital District (Beirut)
Beirut Digital District (BDD) is a project that aims to provide an open innovation platform and space for entrepreneurs over the next five years. The space is a collaboration between Berytech, Zein Real Estate, and the Lebanese Ministry of Telecommunication. This digital hub will host accelerators, incubators and startups as they begin to build and implement their ideas. The BDD had a soft launch earlier this year.
The Hub (Dubai)
The Hub is a planned workspace in Dubai designed to support social ventures, using a membership model and offering a range of services for new business while offering a community of like-minded entrepreneurs. The founders plan to collect a mini-library for social entrepreneurship and to offer an evening series of lectures, dinners, events, and exhibitions. They will also serve select food at an “in-Hub” restarant, catering to “people at the forefront of a sustainable economy.”
ADDED: Zee Launch Pad (Amman)
Zee Launch Pad in Amman soft-launched this month to offer young startups and entrepreneurs a personal workspace within a unique community. With workrooms, multipurpose rooms, and a “fun” break room, the facility doesn’t have its own staff, allowing entrepreneurs to act as if the space is their personal office, shared with like-minded people who happen to be working on other projects. Zee Launch Pad has an application process for potential new members to ensure that all applicants mesh well with other members and the overall office culture.