Dubai, UAE, 9 December 2023: Future 100, a collaborative initiative between the Ministry of Economy and the Government Development and the Future Office, has unveiled the 100 companies featured in its 2023 list. These companies successfully passed the evaluation process and met the required criteria. The list comprises the top 100 emerging companies contributing to enhancing the competitiveness of the future economy’s sectors.
The announcement unfolded during a ceremony held at the Museum of the Future. The event was attended by HE Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, HE Ohood Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, alongside senior officials from the winning companies.
H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, emphasized that the Future 100 initiative continues to play its role in consolidating the UAE’s position as a preferred destination for future economy companies and new economy projects, especially those related to advanced technology, innovation, and the knowledge economy, in line with the objectives of the “We the UAE 2031” vision.
In his speech during the ceremony, H.E. said: “We congratulate the 100 companies that successfully made it to the final stage of the initiative’s first edition to become the best 100 companies of the future, possessing pioneering capabilities for growth and healthy competition. We believe that this is a turning point which will enable these companies to achieve more sustainable commercial success and access to regional and global markets.”
“In the UAE, based on the vision and directives of our wise leadership, we believe that the private sector is a strategic and key partner of the government in development, and we are keen to empower and enhance its contribution on an ongoing basis. We are proud of the support we provide today to the best 100 companies of the future through this initiative. It confirms our national approach to building sustainable partnership with the private sector, and reflects the extent of the government’s commitment to providing the best incubating environment for global talent and creative youth, celebrating them, supporting their pioneering projects, and creating an attractive climate for promising businesses in various fields, especially in the future and the new economy sectors,” H.E. Bin Touq added. H.E. explained that the companies that applied to be selected for the first cohort of the initiative came from a wide range of new economy sectors such as FinTech, sustainability, creative industries, health technology, educational technology, AgriTech, space, and renewable energy – sectors that support the UAE’s transition towards the new economic model, which is based on flexibility and innovation. H.E. Bin Touq pointed out that 70% of the companies that applied for the initiative are startups, while 30% are in the expansion stage, which reflects the importance of the initiative in highlighting the diverse activities and promising prospects of these companies. It serves as an example encouraging various enterprises in the country to benefit from this initiative, its development tools and strategies to keep pace with future trends on an ongoing basis.
HE Ohood Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of Government Development and the Future, congratulated the companies showcased in Future 100 across diverse new sectors. She underscored that these companies possess substantial potential for both global and local growth within emerging sectors, thereby fortifying the UAE’s readiness for the future.
She highlighted, “Future 100 has uncovered numerous startups and scaleup venturing into new sectors, receiving over a thousand applications from various targeted sectors over three months. The initiative provides a robust impetus to expedite the performance of new and future sectors in alignment with the vision of ‘We the UAE 2031’ and the Economic Principles for UAE, launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to construct the most dynamic and competitive economy and achieve proactiveness in the sectors of the future. This, in turn, creates novel opportunities for emerging companies operating in new sectors.”
HE Al Roumi emphasized that the Future 100 initiative is steadfastly advancing, aiming to solidify the UAE’s standing as a premier hub for new economy companies. It is dedicated to cultivating an inspiring environment conducive to the growth and prosperity of these enterprises, crafting success stories in the economy of the future, and facilitating the global scale of new economy companies. Her Excellency Ohood Al Roumi thanked the partners of the “Future 100” initiative, noting their important role in providing unique support and benefits to the winning companies.
24% of the companies featured on the Future 100 list specialise in the fintech sector, 17% in sustainability and the environment, 17% in the technology, artificial intelligence, web3, cybersecurity and e-commerce, 11% in Healthtech, 10% for renewable energy, creative industries, biotechnology and advanced industries, 6% in Intelligent Mobility, 5% in space and Edutech, Agritech each. More than 45 evaluators and experts from various sectors assessed the applications and conducted interviews with company officials based on a set of criteria. These criteria included the ability to innovate in business models leveraging new technologies, the potential of the target market, the ability to reach key customers according to a specific business plan with clear financial data, business feasibility including a strategy for securing future financing, and the impact of environmental and social governance in the UAE and globally.
The initiative attracted applications from a diverse array of new economic sectors, including space, biotechnology, advanced industries, agritech, renewable energy, creative industries, sustainability, healthtech, cybersecurity, intelligent mobility, fintech, edutech, sharing economy, robotics, web 3, e-commerce, IoT, blockchain, the on-demand economy, improved services based on artificial intelligence, and 3D printing.
The initiative fostered strategic partnerships, including Majra- National CSR Fund, and acceleration partners such as the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, Emirates NBD, Dubai Future District Fund, Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund, Microsoft, Careem, and FTI Consulting. In the community partners category, entities like Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park, Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus, Ajman Chamber, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa), Hub71, Abu Dhabi SME Hub, Mashreq Bank, Sandooq Al Watan, Khalifa Fund, Middle East VC Association (MEVCA), MEVP, VentureSouq, AstroLabs, Flat6Labs, North Star, and the Greenhouse – Chalhoub Group, Entrepreneur Middle East played pivotal roles.
These partnerships offer a myriad of incentives and resources, including the possibility of investing in companies that make it to the Future 100 list, support for accelerating innovation and digital transformation, technical and legal assistance, competitive financing solutions, and workshops on intellectual property rights and trademark protection. Additionally, Microsoft for Startup Founders Hub will offer cutting-edge artificial intelligence services and expert guidance to foster innovation and sustainable growth among start-ups. The companies listed in “Future 100 will participate in Investopia summit, a global platform connecting investors, business leaders & governments to identify new investment opportunities, drive growth and incubate future economies globally.
The initiative is dedicated to supporting new economic sectors that will shape the UAE’s future economy, with a particular focus on the country’s burgeoning startup sector. The development and enhancement of the startup sector’s contribution to the national economy are key goals on the UAE government’s agenda. The initiative celebrates the successes of the private sector in the country, recognising the best 100 emerging companies that significantly contribute to enhancing the competitiveness of the country’s future economic sectors.