ABU DHABI- The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) is partnering with the leading music streaming service in the Middle East and Africa (MENA), Anghami, to establish the technology pioneer’s global headquarters and research and development (R&D) centre in Abu Dhabi.
The partnership is part of the ADIO’s recently announced Innovation Programme valued at AED2 billion (US$545 million), which is an initiative of the Abu Dhabi government’s Ghadan 21 accelerator programme.
Anghami was established in Lebanon in 2012 as the first music streaming platform in the MENA region and has since built a market-leading platform, offering more than 50 million songs to more than 70 million users. It has offices in Beirut, Dubai, Cairo and Riyadh, and is poised for further success, having recently completed a funding round led by SHUAA Capital, a leading asset management and investment banking platform in the region, to help drive its growth ambitions.
Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Director-General of ADIO, said, "Abu Dhabi is rapidly emerging as a go-to destination for innovation-focused companies, a place where ambitious businesses can pursue digital transformation in a stable, enabling and supportive environment. We are committed to providing support for technology companies, recognising that progress in this area unlocks opportunities across other sectors by bringing the fundamental capabilities and infrastructure that all industries will benefit from."
Eddy Maroun, Co-founder of Anghami, commented, "As we seek to tap into the considerable growth opportunities for Anghami, Abu Dhabi was a natural choice for our new global headquarters and R&D centre. The commitment to supporting innovation, access to a deep pool of talent and the advanced infrastructure all make it ideally suited to our requirements."
Recently named the "Smartest City" in MENA by the Institute for Management Development, Abu Dhabi is recognised as a regional centre of excellence within the Information Communications and Technology (ICT) space in areas including artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), data and cloud, e-commerce and smart manufacturing. The ADIO’s support for innovation-driven companies unlocks the full potential of Abu Dhabi’s smart infrastructure and advances the emirate’s position as a regional innovation hub.
Under the agreement, the ADIO will provide Anghami with financial and non-financial incentives to set up at Hub71 – Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem and a flagship Ghadan 21 initiative supporting innovative ideas and technologies.
Dr. Bin Hendi continued, "The ADIO’s Innovation Programme allied to Abu Dhabi’s advanced infrastructure is a powerful platform for success.
Much like our work to ‘turn the desert green’ through AgTech, we believe we can shift sand to silicon by accelerating growth in the ICT sector. We’re excited to partner with Anghami and bring an industry pioneer with a track record of growth - and the opportunity for further growth - to Abu Dhabi." Elie Habib, Co-founder of Anghami, said, "We are excited for this new chapter in Anghami's journey and grateful for the opportunities we've been offered by Abu Dhabi and the ADIO to be established in one of the most vibrant cities in the Middle East." Anghami has chosen Hub71, in partnership with WeWork, for its Abu Dhabi location, enabling it to plug into a dynamic community of innovative tech start-ups as it works to develop pioneering technologies and solutions.
The programme provides incentives to innovative businesses within high-growth areas including ICT, Financial Services, Tourism, AgTech and Health Services and Biopharma, among others.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.