Below is our recent interview with Ammar Al Malik, Managing Director at Dubai Internet City:
Q: What is in5?
A: in5 is an enabling platform for entrepreneurs, students and industry professionals, that offers not only business incubation, but also an integrated membership programme that aims to facilitate business growth for anyone operating in the design, technology and media industries in Dubai.
Whilst entrepreneurs and start-ups have the possibility to fully incubate their business ideas, students, designers and other industry professionals can enjoy benefits that will help further their career, such as talent development and business support, in addition to workspace, facilities and equipment.
in5 innovations centres are located across Dubai’s most thriving business communities, including Dubai Design District (d3), Dubai Internet City and Dubai Production City.
Q: Why is Dubai the ideal place to set up your business?
A: Over the past years, Dubai has grown into a true start-up destination and the entrepreneurial ecosystem continues to gain steam. Most of this positive development is owing to Dubai’s visionary government policy, excellent infrastructure, the high quality of life, proximity to neighbouring markets and industry leaders, as well as access to funding.
And start-up funding matters. When we look at the funding that was received by start-ups in 2017 in the MENA region, you will find that the UAE receives 70 per cent of investments [Magnitt 2017 State of MENA Funding Report], reflecting our ability to grow and attract talent. At in5, which is home to more than140 active start-ups, we provide the infrastructure and support for talented entrepreneurs, students, and industry professionals for them to be able to focus on what really counts: their businesses and ideas.
Q: Is it easy to set up a business in Dubai and at in5?
A: In 2017, the World Bank Ease of Doing Business report ranked the UAE at number 21 globally and first among Arab countries for the fifth consecutive year.
According to the Ministry of Economy, a total of 532,000 business licences were issued across the UAE by end-August 2018, representing a nine per cent growth over 2017. Dubai alone issued 249,000 of those licences, comprising 46.8 per cent of the total number issued. This demonstrates the Emirate’s growing appeal as a preferred global business destination.
In addition, setting up a business at the in5 Innovation Centres is a simple and straight-forward process. Candidates can submit their business ideas online, and once vetted and approved by our selection committee, can begin operating from in5 and enjoy all associated benefits.
Q: Who benefits and why do they value the in5 benefits?
A: Our benefits are targeted at two audiences. The first are talented entrepreneurs and innovative start-ups that seek business incubation. The second are career starters and established professionals looking to learn, connect and advance their careers, offering a platform that provides them with the infrastructure and tools to help them succeed in today’s business environment. Some of the in5 benefits include: access to workshops and talks, extensive business support, showcase opportunities and competitions, mentorship, as well as networking and social events.
In addition, the in5 Innovation Centres feature state-of-the-art facilities that include amongst others production and recording studios, screening rooms and editing suites, prototyping labs, meeting rooms, office space and co-working areas.
Q: What is next for in5?
A: Our overarching goal remains to facilitate growth for young businesses in Dubai and to support them on their journey of bringing innovative ideas to the marketplace for the wider benefit of Dubai’s economy.
We want to continue our own growth trajectory that enabled us to grow from one innovation centre to three innovation centres, offering hundreds of events, creating hours of content, working with 100+ mentors, enabling successful funding stories and most importantly, witnessing the transformation of our start-ups into fully-grown, successful businesses.
We invite everybody to visit us at in5 and to speak to our team about or conductive offering.