Top 5 Tech Cities in the UAE

by Valeria Tcacenco

Top 5 Tech Cities in the UAE

While Silicon Valley has historically been the epicentre of tech innovation, regions worldwide, including the Middle East, particularly the United Arab Emirates (UAE), aspire to lead such a title. 

United Arab Emirates IT infrastructure has made huge progress since 2010, and the country is expected to become one of the leading tech giants in the world by 2025.

Based on the progress UAE made, and also other relevant criteria such as talent pool, startup ecosystem and the tech services provided in these cities, here are the top 5 tech cities in the UAE:


Dubai is one of the top 15 cities in the world for its digital talent, thanks to solid infrastructure, good salaries, and a wide range of tech employment. It also leads the Arab world in terms of talent competition, with a dynamic workforce available to both national and international digital companies.

Today, Dubai stands as the most digitally advanced economy in the region and ranks among the world's top 20 cities in terms of digitalization. For five consecutive years, the UAE has been recognized among the 20 most digitally competitive nations.

The IT talent pool in Dubai 

Dubai Internet City is residence to over 3,000 companies and almost 30,000 professionals and entrepreneurs. It is also part of TECOM Group, which includes various other business districts like Dubai Science Park, Dubai Media City, and others.

The Startup Ecosystem in Dubai 

Dubai is a hub of entrepreneurship with a lively and diverse start-up ecosystem, where 40% of the region's scale-ups and 90% of those in the UAE are based. From 2010 to 2022, more than US$11.7 billion (AED43 billion) was raised by business ventures, representing 60% of the total funding in the region.

Moreover, The DIFC-based companies in the city are leading the region in fintech. In 2022, these companies attracted over US$615 million (AED2.26 billion), making fintech the fastest-growing industry. Projections show that by 2028, fintech funding in the UAE will reach US$2.8 billion (AED10.28 billion), creating profitable opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs.

Top IT, Software & Internet Services Companies in Dubai 

Technology companies, with over 2,300 firms operating in Dubai. Initiatives like Sandbox Dubai support start-ups, and global companies like Meta, Microsoft, Google, IBM, Apple, Cisco, Tata Consultancy Services, and Amazon contribute to the sector. The Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy will attract 300 new start-ups to the city by 2024 to further strengthen the ecosystem.

The Dubai Future Foundation initiative, which focuses on driving innovation, encourage futuristic projects, and advance technological progress to shape the city's future, serves as a platform for a variety of initiatives, including Dubai Future Labs, the Dubai Robotics and Automation Programme and Dubai 10X.  

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Abu Dhabi

The city is the seat of the Abu Dhabi Central Capital District, the capital city of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and the UAE's second-most populous city after Dubai. Abu Dhabi has a diverse economy and uses its many resources and wealth to become a leader in technology. 

Top IT, Software & Internet Services Companies in Abu Dhabi

Here are the top global IT, software, and internet services companies in Abu Dhabi: 

  • Oracle - The second cloud region in the United Arab Emirates is live in Abu Dhabi, making it even easier for businesses to increase performance, protect data, and get access to Oracle's full array of cloud services.

  • IBM - In 2018, IBM launched its Innovation and Industry Client Center in Abu Dhabi, UAE, intending to drive digital transformation in public and private organizations through advanced technologies such as AI, cloud, blockchain, security, analytics, IoT, and quantum computing.

  • SAP - A renowned IT company known for its enterprise software solutions, including ERP systems, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and business intelligence tools.

The Startup Ecosystem in Abu Dhabi

Founded in 2019 and based at Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the international financial centre (IFC) of the UAE capital, Hub71 is recognised as Abu Dhabi’s global technology ecosystem. It is supported by the government of Abu Dhabi and Mubadala Investment Company. Hub71 provides a vibrant community for tech start-ups in over 20 business sectors, including fintech, health tech, ed-tech, climate tech, and AI.

In 2022, Hub71 welcomed over 200 start-ups. These startups received various support, including housing, office space, mentorship, market access, and funding through various programs and partnerships. They raised nearly AED4.5bn in venture capital, created over 900 jobs, and generated AED3bn in revenue. 

Hub71 assists start-ups at the ideation phase and offers particular support for later-stage scale-ups. Its capital network includes over 30 venture capital funds and 27 family offices.

The 2023 Global Startup Ecosystem Report ranked Abu Dhabi as the fastest-growing startup ecosystem in the MENA region and the 6th fastest globally. By 2025, UAE's tech sector investment is projected to increase by 145%, reaching $313.5 million.

The IT talent pool in Abu Dhabi

The IT talent pool in Abu Dhabi is a fundamental component of the city's technology sector. Here are some key statistics that provide insights into the current state of IT talent in Abu Dhabi:

  1. Top Skills in Demand: The top skills in demand in Abu Dhabi include Digital Literacy, Human Resources, Finance and Accounting, English and Arabic Communication, Leadership, and Business Management.

  2. Industrial Talent Programme: The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has launched the Industrial Talent Programme to address the skills' shortage in the industrial sector, and to attract and develop needed talents in areas like automation, big data, digital technologies, analytical thinking, and adaptive flexibility. The strategy will create over 13,600 skilled jobs and increase non-oil exports to AED 178.8 billion by 2031.

  3. Top In-Demand Jobs: In 2024, is predicted to see an increase in the demand for professionals in fields such as data science, AI, cybersecurity, renewable energy, healthcare, and e-commerce.

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Sharjah is the third-biggest city in the United Arab Emirates. It is the capital of the Emirate of Sharjah and forms part of the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area.

Sharjah’s ICT sector is governed primarily at the federal level by the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), which oversees ICT policy and the launch of digital technologies across the UAE’s seven emirates. 

The TDRA has accelerated the implementation of 5G across the country, establishing one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for the technology. These efforts align with the “We the UAE 2031” national economic blueprint. 

Sharjah is advancing the national strategy for a digitalized industrial sector through several key initiatives:

Formation of a Free Zone Authority: The merger of Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) and the Sharjah Oasis for Technology and Innovation has created an independent free zone authority, housing 2000 companies and specializing in innovative technologies, with an investment of over $100 million in research.

Investment in 3D Printing: In December 2022, SRTIP increased its investment in 3D printing to become a leading center in this technology, aligning with the UAE's goal of becoming an international leader in the field.

Sharjah Advanced Industry Accelerator (SAIA): Launched in April 2023, the fourth edition of SAIA supports local and regional entrepreneurs and start-ups, focusing on clean and green technologies, agri-tech, advanced technologies (AI, robotics, IoT, smart cities), sustainable mobility, and space.

Sharjah Start-up Studio (S3): Initiated by the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) in February 2021, S3 is the first government-backed start-up facility in the UAE, using a revenue-sharing model. It provides $30,000 in pre-seed funding and supports Sharjah's digital transformation and non-oil economy by nurturing start-ups. Graduates can incorporate their businesses in SRTIP and seek further funding from Sheraa's partners.

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Al Ain 

Al Ain, often called the “Garden City of the Gulf” is the second-largest city in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, located about 160 km away from Abu Dhabi. It is known for its greenery and tourist attraction. The city also has a 30.8% proportion of Emirati nationals and is becoming a hub for technology and business development.

Why to Start Your Business in Al Ain City?

Starting a business in Al Ain city has many advantages, like having access to many markets, good infrastructure, and being in the middle of the UAE. However, the process can be complex, requiring a clear understanding of legal procedures, cultural norms, and economic dynamics. 

Businesses in Al Ain have no restrictions on where they can operate, the mainland region offer a broader market reach and expansion opportunities. Before starting the setup process, identify the type of business activity you want to pursue. The UAE offers legal structures such as sole proprietorships, LLCs, and partnerships, each with its own requirements and implications for liability and ownership.

In a nutshell, here are some of the key benefits of starting a business in Al Ain mainland:

  • Diverse economy;

  • Infrastructure;

  • Proximity to markets;

  • Business-friendly environment;

  • No personal income tax;

  • Access to skilled workforce;

  • Stable political environment;

  • Investment incentives;

  • Gateway to the Middle East;

  • Modern amenities;

  • Cultural experience.

Smart City Initiative of Al Ain City

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) plans to develop smart cities as part of its Vision 2021 to become one of the best countries in the world. This initiative aligns with the national priority of creating a sustainable environment and infrastructure.

Al Ain City Municipality and AI company Saal have signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to collaborate on AI-based solutions to support the smart city initiative and improve the quality of life for residents. The partnership will enhance services, build sustainable infrastructure, maintain public facilities, and offer exceptional services in consultation with the community.


Ajman is the capital of the emirate of Ajman in the United Arab Emirates and is the fifth-largest city in the UAE. The Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) reported a 21% growth in its technology sector in 2021 compared to 2020, with over 550 registered companies in the sector.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Board of Ajman Free Zones Authority, stated: The results and indicators recorded by AFZ are a testament to the effectiveness of our operational performance and strategies for the technology sector… We would also like to reinstate our commitment to offering a wide range of initiatives and incentives for tech companies to help achieve their objectives… We are confident that our efforts will help transform AFZ into an ideal incubator for technology companies.

The Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) seeks to facilitate business growth and expansion and to attract foreign investors to take advantage of Ajman's competitive advantages. It is focusing on developing automation programs to accelerate digital transformation and has launched initiatives like the AI Robotics Hub, which provides opportunities for entrepreneurs, entities, and SMEs to explore new business opportunities, network with industry experts, and acquire new skills.

The most promising sectors in Ajman are: 

  • Farming technologies

  • Renewable energy

  • Financial technology

  • Artificial intelligence software technology

  • Robotics technology

  • And others. 

Why to Start Your Business in Ajman

The Emirate of Ajman offers unique advantages for doing business, such as lower operational costs, promising investment opportunities in industrial, tourism, service sectors, and access to skilled labor.

Advantages of business setup in the Emirate of Ajman

  • Ajman's strategic central location among the seven emirates.

  • Attractive low fixed asset and operational costs, along with competitive land prices.

  • Lower rents and real estate prices compared to other emirates.

  • 100% freehold ownership across commercial, industrial, and professional sectors

  • Investment opportunities are available.

  • Well-developed infrastructure.

  • Diverse business benefits.

  • Business-friendly environment

  • In addition to the advantages granted at the UAE level.

Emirate of Ajman Investor Facilitations

The Emirate of Ajman offers various investor facilitations, including immediate residence permits, licenses, exemption from fees for three years in priority sectors, distinguished services for investors in these sectors, and permanent public relations employees at the Emirate level for major investors in priority sectors.

Find more IT companies in Ajman

Bottom Line

These cities in the UAE are actively working towards enhancing their technological infrastructure to position themselves as top leaders in the global tech ecosystem. If you are looking to work with a company in the UAE or seeking an IT service provider in the UAE, TechBehemoths is the perfect platform for you. Simply submit your project details, and we will assist you in finding a suitable company that aligns with your requirements. 

Valeria Tcacenco

Customer Success Manager

I am a creative enthusiast passionate about art. Recently, I found myself in the art of writing, especially in copywriting, where I can inform, inspire, and persuade others. A definite thing is that 1% is talent and the rest is perseverance.