Policies & Regulations

Dubai SME introduces regulations for business accelerators and incubators

  • Regulations will provide a legal framework advantageous to creative entrepreneurs
  • Forerunner to the ‘Dubai Business Incubator Network’
  • Aims to support, guide and monitor entrepreneurial projects and innovations

Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector has announced new regulations for ‘Incubators and Business Accelerators’ to draw further support for innovative entrepreneurs, particularly in monitoring and mentoring their business growth.

The initiative is part of providing greater opportunities for investment in developing business leaders across varied industry sectors through business incubators, accelerators and shared works spaces, thus advancing economic growth and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) in Dubai.

Dubai SME seeks to create platforms that foster entrepreneurship, facilitate access for young entrepreneurs into varied industry sectors, and also empower innovative entrepreneurs to translate their ideas into sustainable, knowledge economy initiatives that will enhance Dubai’s position among regional and global economies.  

“Regulating the Incubators and Business Accelerators activity is in line with the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030. It aims to empower small and medium enterprises to play a greater role in the production process, and contribute to a competitive national economy based on knowledge, innovation and technologies of the future,” His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED, said adding that the regulation will encourage creativity and promote investment in innovation.

“The new regulation provide a legal form for incubators for the sake of universities, colleges and venture capitalists as well as entrepreneurs who have unique ideas and initiative,” said Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO, Dubai SME. “It will provide an ideal environment for innovation and support the digital transformation of projects, in addition to providing a hub for technology and innovation initiatives.”

Al Janahi added that the regulation has been launched with ample support from the Government of Dubai, which is keen to develop the entrepreneurial environment and promote a culture of creativity and innovation to accelerate national economic growth. The initiative will attract local and foreign investment in SMEs as well as international expertise in business incubation and enhancing business competitiveness, he said.

The new regulation will offer varied advantages to SMEs and entrepreneurs, including full alignment with the economic focus and Industry 4.0 strategy of the Government of Dubai.  The business incubator license offers 100% ownership and investors can apply for the license through Dubai SME, which will be in charge of organising and monitoring the activities of the incubators. Every license application will undergo a feasibility check, done by a special committee.

The business incubators shall provide a range of services, including the required work space for innovative entrepreneurs in line with the main activity for which the incubator is licensed, consultancy and guidance on project development, and support for implementing innovations and applying the latest technology in product development.

The incubators shall also provide specialised training programmes as well as workshops on administrative, marketing, financial and economic aspects, in addition to strategic alliances with global business partners and support for capability development and international expansion.

Regulating incubators and business accelerators is a first step towards the establishment of the ‘Dubai Business Incubator Network (DBIN),’ which will act as a resource to help, encourage and deliver best practices for business incubator programmes in the UAE. The network seeks to stimulate economic and development in the UAE, specifically in the Emirate of Dubai, through the establishment of new facilities capable of providing promising investment opportunities in economic development and job creation. The network also seeks to support and facilitate innovation by facilitating the exchange of information and experience between decision-makers in incubators and business accelerators across Dubai.

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