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Bahrain, along with the UAE, has been named among the top-100 destinations for startups globally. The ranking, prepared by StartupBlink, used dozens of metrics and tens of thousands of data points to list the countries with the most startup-friendly infrastructure and legal/regulatory frameworks in place. 

The startup ecosystem research platform also surveyed more than 50,000 individuals including startup founders, employees of small firms, and venture capitalists, among others.

Bahrain’s rapid progress as a regional hub for innovation and entrepreneurship was recognized by the rankings. The Kingdom jumped 20 places to the 75th spot this year. The UAE was the best-performing country in the rankings as it came in at 43rd. 

The report accompanying the rankings specifically praised Bahrain’s “collaborative startup community” and “framework of legal and support systems for startups and entrepreneurs”.

It also mentioned how key initiatives such as the launch of StartUp Bahrain, Tamkeen Bahrain, and Bahrain FinTech Bay has expedited the growth of the country’s homegrown startup ecosystem. A favorable tax regimen, along with a constant inflow of investments, were also named as key factors behind Bahrain’s rise as a top-startup destination.

Eli David, CEO of StartupBlink, commented on the role of governments in the growth of startup ecosystems by saying: “The efforts of governments, municipalities, and development organizations make a real difference. Knowing this information and measuring it mathematically without sugarcoating results helps track real progress and creates an urgency to encourage improvement.”

Meanwhile, reacting to Bahrain’s rapid ascension through the rankings, Pakiza Abdulrahman, Head of Startups at Bahrain Economic Development Board, said: “Startups coming to Bahrain join a thriving ecosystem that combines pro-enterprise regulation with competitive costs, backed by the support of a government that listens — not to mention our unrivaled access to the $1.5 trillion GCC market.”

Sarah Faisal

Sarah Faisal

An enthusiastic content manager at Matter in Hand with an affinity for uncovering the magical bits of everything. I also love movies, poetry, and smoothie bowls.