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Aldar Properties Launches Six-Month Incubator for GCC Startups

Aldar Properties’ developers fire up the second edition of their entrepreneurial incubator programme, ‘Manassah’.

Aiming to encourage entrepreneurial talent and foster retail concepts in the GCC, Abu Dhabi-based Aldar Properties have launched the second edition of their six-month entrepreneurship incubator ‘Manassah’ programme.

The second ‘Manassah’ round will be open to a broad range of retail businesses including technology-enabled startups and projects driving sustainability from across the GCC. The programme seeks to build on the successes of the first round that had originally targeted UAE-based SMEs operating within the retail, café and restaurant space.

‘Manassah’ was first conceived in the Aldar Youth Council initiative as a counterpart to Aldar’s ‘Ibtikar’ challenge, which was focused on encouraging employees to take active roles in Aldar’s future growth and direction. Aldar Youth Council was set up in 2018 to actively empower Aldar’s youth, unlock their full career potential, and engage with other Youth Councils across the country.

“The success of the first cycle of Manassah demonstrated the abundance of talent we have in the UAE and wider region,” Saoud Khoory, Chief Retail Officer at Aldar Investment, said. “Innovation is key to driving the future of the retail sector in the UAE, and we at Aldar are committed to playing an active role in accelerating this growth through investing in concepts that reimagine and redefine the customer journey. The combination of the Manassah programme and Abu Dhabi’s intrinsic entrepreneurial spirit places the emirate in a great position to capitalise on the opportunities that this growth provides. As Manassah continues to develop and evolve, we are able to build a home-grown innovation ecosystem that supports retail entrepreneurs and SMEs across the UAE.”

Manassah’s second edition is currently welcoming submissions across two main categories: retail SMEs such as cafes, restaurants, services and sustainable solutions, and retail tech such as e-commerce and sustainability-focused tech applications. The deadline for submissions is set for May 22nd. Winners will receive investments worth up to AED 1 Million, a space at an Aldar retail destination, and opportunities to pilot their solutions with Aldar Properties.