LONDON: The Dubai-based Al Ahli Holding Group is planning to build a one million square-foot hub for media companies and entrepreneurs to work and even live in as they start to build their businesses.
The development is the latest in a number of initiatives across the Gulf to drive innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in the technology sector, as the region tries to diversify its economy away from oil-related industries.
The ‘Nomad’ development is to be built close to The Echo Plex, off Al Ain Road in Dubai, and will provide affordable co-working space for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and startups, the company said in a statement. The Nomad project aims to attract members from across the region and beyond.
The hub will also offer studios as well as gaming and technology areas, including one of the largest 3D printing facilities globally, according to the company’s press release.
Members will be able to benefit from support and advice from Al Ahli Holding Group’s network of consultants.
Subsidized co-living facilities will also be available to help members keep their living costs low as they work on launching or expanding their businesses.
“The sheer size, scope and proposition of Nomad will put the UAE on the map as a global game changer when it comes to the type of creative, disruptive and outstanding entrepreneurship that will guarantee a bright, thriving future for generations to come,” said CEO of Al Ahli Holding Group, Mohammed Khammas.
The project is in line with the UAE’s Vision 2021 which plans to build up a so-called ‘knowledge economy’ by supporting entrepreneurs in the country.
The hub will take two years to be built — with the first phase including a pilot co-housing community — to be launched at the end of this year, the company said.
The Nomad project follows previous efforts in Dubai to encourage entrepreneurs, including In5, a platform launched by Tecom Group.
It currently offers facilities to entrepreneurs and start-ups at various locations in the emirate, having launched its innovation center for technology in Dubai Internet City in 2013, followed by design-focused and media centers in 2017.