Dubai’s latest project, DubaiNEXT, a crowdfunding platform specially designed to support Halal businesses, embodies its twin ambitions of becoming a global Islamic economy center and an international fintech hub.
Also known as Dubai NEXT, the digital non-profit platform is backed by Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development and was launched by Sheikh Hamdan Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum, the Dubai crown prince. Crowdfunding as well as peer-to-peer finance is a growing vertical in the UAE, which was one of the first in the region to regulate this new form of finance — both in its conventional and Islamic formats. DubaiNext, however, is the first official government crowdfunding platform in the UAE.
Adopting a rewards-based crowdfunding business model, DubaiNext is open to entrepreneurs and SMEs and youths looking to fund their business ideas irrespective of sectors, provided that the business complies with Shariah principles. The start-up/individual must also be domiciled in Dubai and there is no protection for ideas or intellectual property pitched on the platform.