Locally known as "Hawler" and also spelt "Arbil", the city of Erbil is the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan located in the heart of the region and north of Iraq. With a whopping population of ethnically diverse 850,000 people (think Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Arabs, Iraqi Turkmens, Yezidis, Shabakis and Mandaeans), it's just as much a mish mash from a religious point of view, Sunni Islam, Shia Islam, Christianity, Yezidism, Yarsanism, Shabakism and Mandaeism creating a colorful melting pot of cultures. Its history dates back to about the 5th millennium BC making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited areas in the world. Coworking appearing in Erbil is a sign of an impressive increase in Internet penetration.
About 5 million people are now connected to the Internet, which is free of government censorship that will contribute to the founding of new startups in the country. Iraq is an underdeveloped, untapped and potentially lucrative market that will see a demand for services and products, as it comes out of recession, opening up the door for new companies. Iraqi millennials are educated, tech savvy and have an entrepreneurial spirit with many working abroad to improve their work experience. The government has acknowledged that it will be the private sector and entrepreneurs that will change the economy and drive job creation from its historical reliance on the oil sector. Young professionals are becoming more proficient in English due to the demand for cross-border communication and bolstered by educational institutions such as the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani.
Coworking venues are quickly becoming entrenched as a part of the Iraqi tech startup ecosystem to help the country realize its ambitions.
Never Miss a Coworking Update
Register to receive exclusive offers, special member pricing, and updates on shared office space near you.