The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) is partnering with the leading music streaming service in the Middle East and Africa (MENA), Anghami, to establish the technology pioneer’s global headquarters and research and development (R&D) centre in Abu Dhabi. The partnership is part of ADIO’s recently announced $545 million Innovation Programme, an initiative of the Abu Dhabi government’s Ghadan 21 accelerator programme.
Anghami was established in Lebanon in 2012 as the first music streaming platform in the MENA region and has since built a market-leading platform, offering more than 50 million songs to more than 70 million users. It has offices in Beirut, Dubai, Cairo and Riyadh, and is poised for further success, having recently completed a funding round led by SHUAA Capital, a leading asset management and investment banking platform in the region, to help drive its growth ambitions.
H.E. Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Director General of ADIO, said: “Abu Dhabi is rapidly emerging as a go-to destination for innovation-focused companies, a place where ambitious businesses can pursue digital transformation in a stable, enabling and supportive environment. We are committed to providing support for technology companies, recognising that progress in this area unlocks opportunities across other sectors by bringing the fundamental capabilities and infrastructure that all industries will benefit from. We welcome big thinkers aligned with Abu Dhabi’s vision to advance innovation.”
Eddy Maroun, Co-founder of Anghami, commented: “As we seek to tap into the considerable growth opportunities for Anghami, Abu Dhabi was a natural choice for our new global headquarters and R&D centre. The commitment to supporting innovation, the access to a deep pool of talent and the advanced infrastructure all make it ideally suited to our requirements. We’re proud to be partnering with ADIO to accelerate our success and with it, the success of Abu Dhabi as a regional innovation hub.”
Recently named the ‘Smartest City’ in MENA by the Institute for Management Development, Abu Dhabi is recognised as a regional centre of excellence within the Information Communications & Technology (ICT) space in areas including Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), data and cloud, e-commerce and smart manufacturing. ADIO’s support for innovation-driven companies unlocks the full potential of Abu Dhabi’s smart infrastructure and advances the emirate’s position as a regional innovation hub.
Under the agreement, ADIO will provide Anghami with financial and non-financial incentives to set up at Hub71 – Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem and a flagship Ghadan 21 initiative supporting innovative ideas and technologies.
H.E. Dr. Bin Hendi continued: “Companies of all sizes and at various stages of growth are choosing to set up and scale up in Abu Dhabi. This is because of our innovation ecosystem and the benefits it offers companies as they look to create new products and services. ADIO’s Innovation Programme allied to Abu Dhabi’s advanced infrastructure is a powerful platform for success. Much like our work to ‘turn the desert green’ through AgTech, we believe we can shift sand to silicon by accelerating growth in the ICT sector. We’re excited to partner with Anghami and bring an industry pioneer with a track record of growth – and the opportunity for further growth – to Abu Dhabi.”
Elie Habib, Co-founder of Anghami, said: “We’re excited for this new chapter in Anghami’s journey and grateful for the opportunities we’ve been offered by Abu Dhabi and ADIO to be established in one of the most vibrant cities in the Middle East.”
By setting up its global HQ and R&D centre in Abu Dhabi, Anghami will benefit from access to capital, local talent, an R&D support network and advanced infrastructure in the emirate as it focuses on research and technical development to advance its proprietary in-house technology and media platform. Anghami will help to nurture talent through mentorship initiatives with the local startup community and fellowships for Emirati computer science and engineering graduates.
Anghami has chosen Hub71, in partnership with WeWork, for its Abu Dhabi location, enabling it to plug into a dynamic community of innovative tech startups as it works to develop pioneering technologies and solutions.
ADIO’s Innovation Programme provides incentives to innovative businesses within high-growth areas including ICT, Financial Services, Tourism, AgTech and Health Services & Biopharma, among others. The programme aims to accelerate opportunities for innovative businesses, supporting their growth and enabling them to deliver ideas that drive wider positive impact.
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