Seven tech start-ups to watch in the Middle East

By Jess Shanahan

Dubai might be the start-up hub of the Middle East thanks to its abundance of accelerator programs but there are plenty of tech start-ups throughout the rest of the region. Here are seven technology companies in the Middle East that you need to watch.


This sports technology company based in Lebanon has developed a product that allows swimmers to track their heart rate, calories burned and more to increase training optimisation. In the past it’s been difficult to track a swimmer’s activity, the challenge has been creating a device that’s both accurate and waterproof. Instabeat is the first waterproof device that connects to a swimmer’s goggles to provide accurate tracking and feedback.


This interesting app gives users are idea of how strangers and friends might perceive them. Instead of getting people to post anonymous feedback about you, the app turns it all into a game. The goal is to bridge first impression gaps and breakdown stereotypes. In a way, it performs as a dating app but the idea is to get people connecting over interesting questions that are difficult to answer on appearance alone, such as favourite band.


This taxi app was one of the first to achieve funding through Gaza’s only start up accelerator program – Gaza Sky Geeks. It’s been described as ‘Uber for the Middle East’ although users have to be connected to Wi-Fi to find a ride.

Wasselni face dramatically different challenges to most young companies — poverty, travel restrictions, and a limited infrastructure damaged even further by last summer's conflict between Israel and Hamas. Despite these challenges, Gaza's start-up movement is gaining a lot more attention.


This is a platform that allows people to connect with local doctors and access top-notch medical information. It focuses on making information easily accessible and understood. Its team of in-house editors and independent doctors help curate information so users can find what they need quickly and easily. With its comprehensive approach and varied content formats, Sohati proves online medical references that are simplified and accessible to anyone, anywhere.


This is a service that allows people to learn anything and teach anything. It was born out of a need to learn little things like setting up a fish tank, as well as the larger need for entrepreneurs to learn further business skills. It all works on a skill-swap basis that allows people to get stuff done for free in exchange for their skills or favours.


This is a mobile-only classified site that mostly deals with car sales. Despite the Middle East having cheap fuel and big roads, car buyers are still price conscious when it comes to buying a car. This mobile site allows people to find prestige vehicles at low price points.


This service helps Muslim travellers to find halal food while flying, manage daily prayers and also helps travellers perform their annual Haj to Mecca/Medina.

This kind of innovation is just going to continue to grow in the Middle East with more and more funding becoming available to new technology businesses.

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