Abu Dhabi to back the growth of Web3 startups with $2B

Abu Dhabi flag with the city buildings in the background and web3 text

Abu Dhabi’s technology ecosystem, Hub71, has announced a new initiative called “Hub71+ Digital Assets,” with a capital backing of over US$2 billion. This project aims to advance Web3-based innovations, such as blockchain technology and metaverse applications. The initiative aspires to provide Web3 startups with access to a range of programs, and initiatives, as well as, corporate, government, and investment partners in both global markets and the UAE.

The Hub71+ Digital Assets initiative said it intends to provide Web3 startups with access to a state-of-the-art blockchain and virtual asset infrastructure, as well as a progressive regulatory environment. This initiative will be based at Hub71 in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). As an anchor partner of the initiative, First Abu Dhabi Bank’s research and innovation center FABRIC will be joined by digital asset exchanges and service providers to facilitate the discovery, trading, and safekeeping of digital assets.

As part of its value creation program, Hub71 said it will aid businesses in expanding to Abu Dhabi and growing their presence in the Middle East and global markets. This program will extend to Web3 startups at the ‘unicorn’ stage. Which refers to companies with a valuation of over $1 billion. This initiative is part of Abu Dhabi’s efforts to attract and support innovative businesses and to establish the UAE as a leader in the Web3 space.

Ahmad Ali Alwan, the Deputy CEO of Hub71, said he sees the launch of Hub71+ Digital Assets as a symbol of Abu Dhabi’s willingness to embrace “disruptive businesses that drive change and transformation on a global scale.” By partnering with ADGM, FAB, and FABRIC, as well as prominent Web3 firms and facilitators. Startups can safely fund, develop, and market innovative concepts while operating within the largest MENA region’s regulated virtual asset jurisdiction. This collaboration offers an opportunity for startups to thrive while catalyzing change and growth.

The UAE government has been proactive in embracing blockchain technology and the emerging markets it encompasses. Including the metaverse, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and Web3.

Speaking with Bloomberg on Jan. 20 in Davos Switzerland, UAE’s minister of state for foreign trade Thani Al-Zeyoudi suggested that UAE is working on its crypto regulatory regime. With the focus on making the Gulf country a hub with crypto-friendly policies that also have sufficient protections in place.

In Oct. 2022, a Chainalysis report highlighted how the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is one of the fastest-growing crypto markets globally. The report showed that in 12 months, from July 2021 to June 2022. Users in the MENA region received $566 billion worth of cryptocurrencies, a growth of 48% compared to 2021.