Startup Weekend Comes to UAE

It’s confirmed. Startup Weekend is coming to the UAE again, this time in the beautiful exciting emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Starting on the October 12th,  the RAK Incubation and Accelerator is going to open its doors to this exciting event.

We’re expecting a great group of techies, designers, entrepreneurs, marketers, and students and looking forward to seeing some great new startups come out of this weekend.

Tickets are on sale at an early-bird price. Student tickets are at 50% office (Ah!What it takes to be a student again). Just click on the Register button up above to get your tickets.

Stay tuned for more information on Startup Weekend Ras Al Khaimah.

12 Reasons Why You Should Attend Startup Weekend FashTech

Startup Weekend Dubai FashTech 2016 kicks off this year with a lot of exciting updates. We will be hosting the weekend from October 13-15, 2016. We are looking forward to having our top experts, designers and developers guide the participants this year to create the best MVP’s of their wearables, design and technology products. Keep reading till the end, we have a little surprise prepared for you if you are interested in being the next big idea in wearables!

Here are our TOP 12:

  1. Education: Startup Weekends are all about learning by doing, whether you’re learning a new skill or a new way of thinking.  Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go.

  2. Co-Founder Dating: The people who come to Startup Weekend are serious about learning how to build and launch startups.  Create relationships that last long past the weekend.

  3. Have fun: During the weekend working alongside awesome people who share your ideas. Startup Weekend is meant to be fun and entertaining so enjoy it.

  4. Solve local problems with your ideas. Do you think that one of your idea can change your town or have a positive impact in your group of people? Bring your idea notebook with you and start making a positive change in your local community.

  5. Build Your Network: Startup Weekend works hard to recruit high quality, driven entrepreneurs- like you!

  6. Learn New Skills: With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup Weekends are perfect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or give marketing a try.  With nothing to lose there’s no reason not to step outside your comfort zone.

  7. Learn How to Launch a Business (and Actually Do It!): Startup Weekend is the epitome of Lean Startup Methodology.

  8. Mentorship: Local tech and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends and give feedback to participants. Interact with the movers and shakers in your community.

  9. Get Access to Valuable Startup Resources: By participating in Startup Weekend you are given instant access to great products and tools. No one leaves Startup Weekend empty handed! Click here to learn more about some of the offers our Global Sponsors provide during the event.

  10. Save Money: Startup Weekends are affordable (typically $99, only $50 for students). Your ticket includes seven meals, snacks, and all the coffee you can drink.

  11. Wearables: It’s about bringing style, utility and the Internet of things (IoT) to the masses and its arguably the hottest market at the moment blending in 3D printing with web APIs, exciting mobile apps and sexy web portals incorporating the best in social media interactivity.

  12. Prizes: Winners get the chance to go to NEW YORK CITY ALL EXPENSES COVERED! We will be flying in the lucky winners of the competition to present their ideas to a panel of experts that will help them take their ideas to the NEXT LEVEL!

Interested in joining or have any questions, check out our website. Reach out to us by sending us an email to:

Bootcamp recap: No More Reasons Not to Start

Article written by: Farah El Yacoubi

In the lead up to Startup Weekend Dubai, we hosted a panel discussion titled, “Bootcamp: No More Reasons Not to Start”. The aim of the bootcamp was to give viewers a holistic picture of the existing startup environment in Dubai. The panellists, moderator and speaker each have a unique background and role to play in Dubai’s startup world and together, represented all aspects of Dubai’s startup framework.

Firstly, the bootcamp featured personal experiences by entrepreneurs who are operating in the fields of food & beverage, technology, and consumer products. It also included panellists who are working in organisations that provide support to entrepreneurs through mentorship, networking opportunities, financial investment and other forms of guidance. Finally, the panellists shared their insight on the legal considerations and challenges that one will face during their entrepreneurial journey. Most importantly, various stages of setting up and running a startup were discussed: from pre-incorporation and business planning to how to keep up with the growing complexity and scale of your business.

The panel discussion comprised of:

  1. Moderator – Hebah Fisher (Co-founder of Kerning Cultures)
  2. Speaker – Abzal Assembekov (Winner from Startup Weekend Dubai 2014 and Founder of Heptagon Media)
  3. Panellist – Alborz Toofani (Founder & CEO of SnappCard)
  4. Panellist – Chad Fox (Legal advisor for startups)
  5. Panellist – Leen Sadder (Founder & CEO of THIS Toothbrush)
  6. Panellist – Ramzy Ismail (Program Manager at Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi)
  7. Panellist – Sirine Fadoul (Incubation Manager at Silicon Oasis Founders)

The discussion kicked off with the topical question: as an entrepreneur, should you retain your day job and work on your venture on the side or should you fully commit, assume the risk and quit your job? Whilst the panellists each had different opinions and experiences with this question, it was agreed that this completely depended on the particular entrepreneur’s circumstances, risk appetite, and stage of development of the idea.

A key talking point was the type of support that an individual entrepreneur should seek. Should you be guided by an incubator? What type of legal advice do you need and when should you obtain it? Would it be helpful to enter into a startup competition?

In answering these questions, the panellists acknowledged that these forms of support are different. However, each of them provides an entrepreneur with access to specialist information and advice, and networking opportunities. The panellists universally pointed out that there are intrinsic obstacles to overcome when starting a company, especially at the early stages. They shared their practical stories and how having a supporting network would have prevented early mistakes or speeded up the route to profitability. The conclusion amongst the panellists was that the right timing is key and advice should be obtained early on, meeting the right people never hurts, and it is best to have the right foundation for your company from the start.

A large chunk of the discussion was dedicated to an area that is relevant to all but unfamiliar to many: legal matters. It is important to remember that Dubai has a unique legal composition, which entrepreneurs should understand well in order to inform their strategy. Chad Fox gave a crash course about the registration and licensing process, the choice of jurisdiction of incorporation (onshore or free-zone), and overarching restrictions (costs associated with specific structures, employee visas, division of shares and allocation of managerial positions).

Overall, the discussion was designed to familiarise potential and current entrepreneurs with their upcoming challenges. However, it also pointed them to the tools and resources that they should resort to in order to respond to such scenarios.

We're back! SW Dubai 2015

“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” –Nolan Bushnell, Entrepreneur

So for all you doers, we are running Startup Weekend again this year. After its great success last year with more than 90 participants that decided to do something about their idea. How? These doers got in to teams and built their ideas, 18 teams with 18 amazing and passionate pitches at the end of the week. All these great ideas, all that passion and great work was covered by Sky News Arabia.

And for those of you who don’t know what Startup Weekend is, Startup Weekend is a 54 hour startup event that provides the networking, resources, and incentives for individuals and teams to go from idea to launch. Startup Weekend’s motto: No Talk. All Action. We are a community of passionate entrepreneurs on a mission to help other entrepreneurs and facilitate innovation.

The event is open to anyone interested in the local entrepreneurial community, and it puts them in a setting where anything is possible. In the past 3 years, 550+ startups have started, 22,000+ entrepreneurs have been inspired. Teams have even started to generate revenue during the 54hr event, and others have even gone on to direct angel and VC investment. None of these stats take into account the amazing networking, ongoing professional relationships, and amazing experience that happen at every event.

To know more about Startup Weekend in Dubai and around the world, visit: Or like our facebook page and be up to date with everything that’s going on with Startup Weekend in DUBAI:

Recruiting now for the Startup Weekend 2015 team!

Loved Startup Weekend 2014? Wish you could be part of the exciting team that brought you the experience? Now is your chance!

We are currently recruiting people for:

  • Sponsorship outreach (find and secure sponsorship for SW 2015 – business development experience or similar required)
  • Communications (dealing with everything from questions to our mailing list – marketing experience or similar required)
  • Social media (experience required – show us your work and results!)
  • Operations (venue + F&B event management/planning experience required)
  • Speaker + mentor outreach (must already have an excellent network of technologists and innovators in the UAE)

If this is you – apply now! Send your resume and 1 line about why you want to be part of organizing Startup Weekend 2015 to

Good luck!




We’re currently for people WITH EXPERIENCE (no experience? no worries – we’ll be looking for volunteers as well soon!). Time commitment is 10 hours per wee

No more copy-pasting – SW Dubai 2014's winners come up with innovative solutions to Dubai problems!

Startup Weekend Dubai 2014

December 11-13th, 2014


1st Place: Photo Real

Provides professional and quality stock photo database to Real Estate agents, starting with in-demand Dubai neighbourhoods with plans to expand.

2nd Place: Let’s Order

Finally – a solution to place a group order for you and your friends or colleagues, streamlining the order for the restaurant and cutting wait times for customers hungry for their delivery

3rd Place: Glitzz

E-commerce platform for funky fashion and unique accessory designs!


We loved seeing teams providing innovative solutions to pain points faced here in the UAE – we cannot wait to see what they all do, stay tuned for the next one!


Why attend Startup Weekend RAK?

Call us biased, but we think that there are dozens of reasons why you should come to a Startup Weekend! Since we know your time is valuable, we’ll only list the top eight:

Startup Weekends are all about learning through the act of creating. Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go.

Build your network:
This isn’t just a happy-hour. Startup Weekend attracts your community’s best makers and do-ers. By spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real-world problems, you will build long-lasting relationships and possibly walk away with a job or even an investor.

Co-Founder Dating:
We all know it’s not just about the idea – it’s about the team. Startup Weekend is hands down the best way to find someone you can actually launch a startup with.

Learn a new skill: 
Step outside of your comfort zone. With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup Weekends are perfect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or just try something different.

Actually launch a business:
Over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months. Roughly 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend.

Get face time with thought leaders:
Local tech and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends as coaches and judges. Get some one-on-one time with the movers and shakers in your community.

Join a global community:
Join over 45,000 Startup Weekend alumni, all on a mission to change the world.

Startup Weekend Al Ain Winners

Startup Weekend Al Ain (October 30-November 1) Winners received valuable prizes, donated by our Sponsors, that will give the startups the boost they need to succeed!

1st Prize: FENYAN

In5- incubation space up to 6 months, subsidizing trade license, mentorship and access to investors + Google 1 hour mentorship session + Ayman Itani- digital & social media kick-starter session + Potential- coaching + Microsoft- BizSpark package- open access to content and developer tools + business model canvas training.

2nd Prize: GO ABAYA

Aramex- office space, free usage of wifi and office supplies + Potential- coaching + Google 1 hour mentorship session + Ayla Hotel- dinner and 5 passes to Healthy Club + Microsoft- BizSpark package- open access to content and developer tools + business model canvas training + Oasis500 Bootcamp (3 seats).

3rd Prize: UAE Entrepreneur

Silicon Oasis Founders- Full day workshop and mentorship + Potential- coaching + Wamda- Wamda cards for the winning team + Microsoft- BizSpark package- open access to content and developer tools + business model canvas training + Oasis500 Bootcamp (3 seats).

Hotels close to the venue

To book hotels close to the venues, we suggest to use one of the following:

Hilton RAK 4.6kms (5*)

Double Tree by Hilton RAK 4.6kms (4*)

RAK Hotel 9.9kms (4*)

City Hotel 4.0kms (3*)