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Tech start-ups, particularly those that run an agile operation, need flexibility. The Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), located in Dubai Silicon Oasis, offers an optimal ecosystem for companies operating in a rapidly changing business environment.

After launching as one of the UAE’s first start-up hubs and building on the success of its first location, Dtec opened a second purpose-built space in January 2020, bringing its total area up to 10,000 square metres.

Ideal growth environment

ShortPoint, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) intranet design platform, is one of the many start-ups that has benefited from being based at Dtec, whose location and support system have helped the SME grow from $20,000 (Dh73,450) in revenue and five customers in 2015 to working with some of the world’s largest multinationals. “Dtec goes above and beyond to provide support with anything we need,” says founder and CEO Sami Al Sayyed.

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Since being introduced to SAP, a Dtec corporate partner and Europe’s largest software company by revenue, ShortPoint has gone on to work with multinationals including Microsoft, Nasa, Novartis, General Electric (GE), British Petroleum (BP), Volkswagen and BNP Paribas.

An optimal setting

At the moment, more than 900 start-ups representing 72 countries benefit from Dtec’s value-added services and offerings such as office space, advisory support, B2B connections and financial support, making it the largest tech co-working space in the region.

“The place is so beautiful to work in,” explains Al Sayyed. “We love the bright, open-space environment that offers a unique opportunity to interact with other start-ups and share knowledge and advice, making for a fantastic experience every day.”

Affordable options

Operating under Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Dtec is a one-stop shop for affordably setting up a company in the emirate directly from the free zone without any agency involvement.

Dtec offers four options for complete company set-up: a flexi-desk space, a dedicated desk space and furnished and unfurnished office options.

The set-up process at Dtec is completely digital – it can be done from home and processed within five days, at a price comparable to a virtual business licence from the northern emirates but including all the benefits of running a Dubai-based company.

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Flexibility to expand or cut costs

Another important advantage of operating out of Dtec is the flexibility to easily upgrade or downgrade between fixed and flexi desks or furnished and unfurnished offices – something important during this challenging economic period.

It is something well appreciated by founders such as Al Sayyed. “Even though ShortPoint has expanded, and we could afford a bigger office, we cherish the space and community too much to leave Dtec,” he says. “For us, as a company, Dtec has become a second home.”

The campus has also partnered with major international corporations to host the Intel Innovation Center, HP Innovation Garage, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre and Refinitiv Data Innovation Lab.

Tech start-up lifestyle

Dtec is a progressive, modern workspace designed to support young technology entrepreneurs on their journey to success. It offers its start-up and SME members more than just a space from which to run their business. With an in-house VC unit, a supportive community of like-minded tech entrepreneurs, access to a range of events, trainings, mentorship and networking opportunities, it’s a full business ecosystem.

The campus features a blend of small furnished office spaces and larger unfurnished ones, all of which are affordable, come with zero overhead charges and offer full access to Dtec’s communal facilities and amenities, which include high-quality furniture (including standing desks and back-friendly chairs), nap pods, bookable meeting rooms (from four chairs to a 100-seat auditorium fit for product launches) and dedicated quiet zones for when you need maximum focus. For a more active break, there is a games room, walking track and even a climbing wall.

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An important part of the knowledge exchange culture cultivated here over the past seven years is the Dtec Forum – a series of physical and (recently) digital events that have seen local, regional and international tech entrepreneurs share their hard-earned lessons of success and failure. As a further example of its commitment to the ecosystem, the Dubai Smart City Accelerator, a programme founded by Dtec and created in partnership with du, Dubai Chamber, Smart Dubai, Visa, Orange Business Services, Rochester Institute of Technology and powered by Startupbootcamp, has supported 40 start-ups from all over the world to accelerate their businesses in the UAE.

Moreover, the wider Dubai Silicon Oasis area is home to competitively priced housing options, gyms and restaurants. It is also easily accessible by road – directly connected to Mohammed Bin Zayed Road and Dubai-Al Ain Road – and has buses linked to Dubai Metro.

Click here to learn more about Dtec.

The images and video used in the article were shot prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic