DIFC Innovation Hub: A Modern Business Setup Ecosystem for Startups


The environment of business setup in Dubai Financial Centre (DIFC) has become more conducive for startups with the free zone authority announcing the new expansion plans at the DIFC Innovation Hub. Phase 3 of the Innovation Hub expansion will include a residential component along with co-working spaces. In this background, we are probing how the DIFC Innovation Hub serves as a modern ecosystem for tech startups in the UAE. To know more about being part of the DIFC Innovation hub, consult with business setup consultants in Dubai. Meanwhile, this blog will serve as a brief introduction to it. Read ahead to know further

What is DIFC Innovation Hub?

The innovation hub is a business setup facility located within the DIFC free zone that houses innovative FinTech startups. The hub is now home to 600 tech and innovation firms. After phase 2 of expansion, the DIFC Innovation Hub was expanded from 80,000 square feet to 315,000 square feet. The buildings at Innovation Hub offer facilities like fitted offices, co-working spaces and light F&B outlets in the concourse and fine dining outlets at the rooftop level. Business setup consultants in Dubai will help entrepreneurs to set up their businesses in Innovation Hub.

Licensing at DIFC Innovation Hub

As per the regulations of business setup in DIFC, startups in the Innovation Hub can start their operations by obtaining an Innovation License. The DIFC Innovation License package offers entrepreneurs a subsidised commercial license for up to four years, which will enable a quick and fully digital business setup for non-regulated FinTech and Innovation companies.

The DIFC Innovation License starts at a cost of USD 1,500 per year. The startups will also gain access to DIFC co-working space at affordable rates. Innovation firms can secure up to four visas when renting desk space as well as a 50% subsidy on additional visas.

Phase 3 of the DIFC Innovation Hub

Phase three of the DIFC Innovation Hub includes 184,000 square feet of offices and co-working spaces and a further gross floor area of 107,000 square feet earmarked for retail use. The new phase will also include state-of-the-art conference facilities. It will also feature more than 170 upscale residences touted as the future of living. The occupants will have direct internal and external access to the DIFC Gate Avenue.

Funding Programs for Startups

The difficulty in finding access to funding is the greatest challenge faced by startups across the world. However, funding opportunities are aplenty for startups when it comes to initiating the process of business setup in Dubai. For instance, entrepreneurs who start a business in DIFC Innovation Hub can connect with a lot of commercial partners for funding. Apart from that DIFC also actively delivers financial initiatives to provide funding.

DIFC has its own USD 100 million FinTech Fund, which is aimed to bridge the funding gap for growth-stage start-ups in the region. Well-known FinTech startups such as Sarwa, Beehive, NOW Money, FlexxPay, Rise, Rain and Clara started their operations with DIFC Funding. DIFC also provides greater access to funding from VC firms which are encouraged to join the Centre through its tailored framework for streamlined setup. FinTech firms based in DIFC have now raised more than AED 1.1 billion.

Mentorship Opportunities by DIFC Academy

Entrepreneurs who incorporate a company into DIFC Innovation Hub can nurture their knowledge and talents with training programs designed by DIFC Academy. The DIFC Academy has launched the Future Campus, a knowledge platform that provides more than 400 online degree programs, practical skills-based training courses and educational opportunities to entrepreneurs irrespective of their nationality. The Future Campus can train up to 25,000 students a year and offers programs that focus on skills and knowledge for the future.

Support through DIFC Accelerator Programs

The DIFC Innovation Hub provides accelerator programs to tech startups with which they can unlock new opportunities and create ground-breaking solutions. Such accelerator programs give you the opportunity to collaborate with world-class institutions and leading companies.

Access to DIFC Business Events

By registering a company with the DIFC Innovation Hub, you can be part of the business events organized by the free zone authority within its premises. The events space called Open Stage brings together the Innovation Hub community of innovators, creators, entrepreneurs and industry transformers to interact and share their thoughts. Such events provide you with an opportunity to network with other professionals who can be your next client or collaborator.

How Can Jitendra Business Setup Consultants Help You?

If you are an entrepreneur with an innovative FinTech concept, DIFC Innovation Hub should be your No 1 choice. The Innovation Hub has unique licenses, facilities, funding and mentorship programs that will make the process of business setup in Dubai much easier for you. In case you feel alien to the country’s business landscape, laws and immigration process it is better to consult with the best business setup consultants in Dubai such as Jitendra Business Consultants (JBC).

Our business setup consultants are the best in the best region and will make the process of company formation in Dubai hassle-free for you. JBC serves as a guiding light for entrepreneurs by providing bespoke services including visa processing, bank account opening, drafting of documents like MOA etc.

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