The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is the 2nd most populated hub of the country (1.8 million) and the largest of the 7 emirates of the UAE. It's perched on a T-shaped island in the Persian Gulf on the central western coast with an economy based on oil exports and commerce. Decked out in soaring skyscrapers, mega shopping centers and dominated by the white marble domes of the vast Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque with its Persian carpet and crystal chandeliers, Abu Dhabi is home to the President of the UAE. A major political, industrial and cultural center, it accounts for about two-thirds of the UAE economy. With a history dating back to the 3rd millennium BCE, today it's a thundering powerhouse of wealth and now home to coworking venues for its intrepid souls.
The city that became the Hollywood movie setting for "Furious 7" (Etihad Towers and Emirates Palace Hotel) is now being eyed off as the startup haven in the Gulf region. As the silvery spire of the Buri Khalifa stands testament to, there are no limits as to how high you can reach for in Dubai. The country shows all of the same factors and forces as Singapore did years ago as a potential hub for entrepreneurship. It has an emerging ecosystem, a huge population with two-thirds being foreign residents creating internal diversity and external reach to neighboring countries that allows businesses to scale across the region easily. Despite Arabic being the official language, English is spoken widely. Its consumer wealth is undisputed and the country is business friendly in its regulations.
Dubai has a technology park, Dubai Silicon Oasis and further efforts are being made to enhance the Gulf's ecosystem. Abu Dhabi is on track to emulate what has happened in other countries switching economies from natural resources to a tech based one and coworking venues opening up are one more step in the right direction for its tech savvy locals.
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