A new study conducted by LinkedIn, the world's biggest online professional networking platform, has revealed that the United Arab Emirates has become a thriving entrepreneurship hub with the highest percentage of entrepreneurs in the Middle East.
The study, which analyzed UAE LinkedIn profiles created and completed between March 2015 and March 2016, found this to be the result of a marked increase in the number of entrepreneurs in the UAE.
The findings revealed that the number of entrepreneurs in the UAE doubled in the past year, with the number of LinkedIn members in the UAE who identify with entrepreneurship as their job function increasing by a year-on-year growth rate of 98.3 percent.
In addition, the study found that the UAE is increasingly becoming a preferred destination for entrepreneurs from around the world, who choose to launch their entrepreneurial ventures in the country.
It also found that the top region the country is gaining its entrepreneurship talent from is the Middle East itself, specifically from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Palestine. These countries are followed by Switzerland, Egypt, South Africa and Spain.
As for the industries these entrepreneurs choose to go into, the study found that the top industry is professional services, which encompasses finance and business consulting, technology and software, retail and consumer products, healthcare and staffing.
Moreover, the findings indicate that the UAE has seen an increase in the number of employees who move to work for smaller companies, with the number of UAE LinkedIn members who work for a company employing fewer than 200 employees increasing by a year-on-year growth rate of 10 percent.
"This latest data from LinkedIn is further testament that the UAE is on the right track, and most importantly, that the public is welcoming such support with open arms,” said chairman of the Abu Dhabi-based Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development Hussain Al-Nowais, commenting on the LinkedIn study .
“Building an environment in which entrepreneurship can flourish is one of the key priorities within the UAE’s wider innovation agenda. Today this includes expanding access to information and modern digital tools, as well as fostering a culture of invention across the public and private sectors."
The study pointed out that the growth of entrepreneurship in the UAE has been facilitated by the use of new digital technology platforms, which make entrepreneurial ventures possible without having to go through traditional business hindrances.
The UAE has been actively working on implementing a "Smart City" agenda for years, by making digitization a widespread reality. The country was ranked the Middle East's leading internet economy by the Boston Consulting group in December 2015.
The report cited the leading causes to be the country's high GDP per capita, high smartphone penetration rate and comprehensive internet infrastructure, a thriving e-commerce sector and access to innovation in technology.