App-based car rental firm ekar, fuel delivery and vehicle services firm Cafu, and sustainable activewear and streetwear company The Giving Movement have been rated the UAE’s top start-ups that recorded exceptional growth in the past year, according to professional network LinkedIn’s latest study released on Wednesday.

Based on unique LinkedIn data, the annual study ranks emerging companies where professionals want to work, globally.

The study is based on four pillars – employment growth, engagement, job interest and attraction of top talent.

To be eligible, companies must be fully independent, privately held, have 30 or more full-time employees, be 7 years old or younger and be headquartered in the country on whose list they appear. Start-ups who have laid off 20 per cent or more of their workforce based on corporate announcements or public, reliable sources between July 1, 2022 and the list launch, are not eligible.

Dana Moukhallati, News Editor at LinkedIn, said automotive, F&B and fintech start-ups are designing their services to appeal to the UAE’s tech-savvy residents, who are relying on their applications to get their necessities sorted.

“Whether it’s getting food delivered, their cars serviced, or even managing their finances, these start-ups are keeping up with the rapid digital transformation that started during the pandemic and have continued the momentum. The UAE is clearly a hub for some of the most diverse and progressive start-ups,” she added.

The other companies that made it to the top 10 in terms of exceptional growth were Hubpay, Pure Harvest Smart Farms, Yolk Brands, YAP, Tabby, NymCard and Grubtech.

The UAE’s job market has been performing exceptionally well and has shown resilience amidst tough global challenges with a significant 49 per cent surge in hiring in August this year compared to pre-pandemic August 2019, LinkedIn said.

“This resilience has also trickled into the start-up world, as the companies on the list have demonstrated innovation and investment in top talent, signalling the opportunities that still lie ahead,” it said.

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