Need funding? Get it crowd-sourced. Image Credit: Pexels

Dubai: Have a great business idea but don’t have the funding? A new crowdfunding platform for UAE startups can now bring you one step closer to launching your product or service.

Today, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Makoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, launched the DubaiNEXT platform, which allows entrepreneurs and innovators from all nationalities to secure the required funding to launch their projects.

So, if you are an individual or company looking to get your next big business idea funded through the platform, here is all you need to know.

What is DubaiNEXT?

DubaiNEXT is the first official governmental online crowdfunding platform for startups in the UAE. It is a non-profit platform operated by Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, for creative projects, where individuals in the UAE create campaigns with a clear goal asking for support to turn their ideas into reality.

How does the crowdfunding model work?

According to the website,, the crowdfunding is conducted based on the ‘all-or-nothing’, which means that the funds would only be released after the project meets its goal. This ensures that campaigners have enough money to do what they promised and they are not expected to complete a project without the funds necessary to do so. This also assures contributors that they are only funding creative ideas that are set to succeed. The contributed amount can be refunded if the campaign ends without reaching the funded goal.

What are the fees?

As DubaiNEXT is a non-profit platform, there are no registration fees. So, it is free to register as a contributor or campaign creator. However, the platform will charge a five per cent service fee for successfully funded projects

Can someone steal my idea if it is not successfully funded?

While DubaiNEXT is only a crowdfunding platform, the website,, also educates contributors about the need to protect intellectual property. Innovators and entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for a trademark, copyright or patent through the Ministry of Economy, which is the competent authority to register and protect intellectual property in the UAE.

Startup series

How you can start your crowdfunding campaign through DubaiNEXT

Step 1: Create a UAEPass

Currently, the website only supports registration through UAEPass. The national identity platform has now made it easier for people to register using facial recognition technology, which is possible through most modern smartphones. To read a detailed guide on how you can set up your UAEPass account in minutes, read our detailed guide here.

Step 2: Visit the DubaiNEXT website

Next, you would need to visit the website –

Click on ‘Start a campaign’ on the top menu panel.

Step 3: Verify identity through UAEPass

You will be asked to login using UAEPass.

Enter your Emirates ID number and click on Login.

The portal will then send an authentication request to your phone, on which you have the UAEPass app installed. You can verify your identity using the four digit code you have set, or through facial recognition, depending on the settings you have preferred for UAEPass.

Step 4: Agree to the terms and conditions

Check the box and click on Login. The website will redirect you to the homepage.

Step 5: Start your campaign

You can then click on ‘Start your campaign’ on the home page and you will be guided through a step-by-step process of setting up the campaign.

Enter campaign title.

Add a featured image that best illustrates your campaign. The featured image has square-ish dimensions – 1336px x 1002px. You will also be asked to upload a header image, however this is optional.

Pict a category for your campaign.

Step 6: Set your fundraising goals

You would then need to set your funding goal, which should be the minimum amount needed to complete the project and fulfill all rewards.

You will also be asked to set a campaign duration.

Step 7: Provide campaign details

In the next step you will be asked to describe the campaign, upload any videos that you may wish to add, as well as provide answers to frequently asked questions.

Step 8: Add rewards

You can then set contributor rewards based on the amount they contribute.

Step 9: Set your campaign profile

You can choose to have an individual or your business organisation as the identity that is displayed under your campaign profile.

Step 10: Review your campaign details

Do a final review of your campaign before submitting it on the platform.