Innovation That Matters

Global Innovation Spotlight: UAE

Global Innovation Spotlight

From athletic leisurewear made from sustainable materials to temperature maps for cooler cities, discover exciting innovations from the UAE

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Reflecting our global Springwise readership, we explore the innovation landscape and freshest thinking from a new country each week. To celebrate UAE National Day, we’re this week heading to the Gulf…

UAE Innovation Profile

Global Innovation Index ranking: 31st

Climate targets: Cut carbon emissions by 31 per cent by 2030, compared with a ‘business as usual’ scenario, net zero by 2050

Sustainability issues

Food security – Countries in the Gulf, including the UAE, import up to 85 per cent of their food. And local food producers in the country are hindered by shortages of both land and water. Compounding these long-term issues, food producers in the UAE report being constrained by rising input costs and unique challenges caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Water scarcity – While the Middle East is rich in oil, it is poor in water. And the UAE, in particular, is facing severe depletion of its water resources. The country consumes approximately 500 litres per day – 50 per cent above the global average.

Air pollution – The UAE is susceptible to sand and dust storms that cause harmful levels of particulate matter air pollution. And the Middle East is facing a significant increase in the frequency of these events, largely as a result of climate change. In August, Dubai recorded levels of particulates 116 times World Health Organization guidelines.

Sector specialisms

  • – Transportation
  • – Fintech
  • – Foodtech

Source: StartupBlink

Three Exciting Innovations From The UAE

Photo source The Giving Movement


Although the fashion industry has been struggling in some areas since the pandemic and economic downturn, the athleisure market continues to grow as consumers continue to spend more time at home. In fact, the market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.9 per cent from 2022 to 2030. With more business meetings taking place in front of a computer at home, loungewear has become a part of professional wardrobes. Yet much athleisure has the same problem with unsustainability as other types of fast fashion. Now, a UAE-based fashion company is focusing on charitable giving, transparency, and recycled materials. Read more

Photo source Egor Myznik on Unsplash


The urban ‘heat island’ effect occurs when natural land cover is replaced with dense concentrations of pavement, buildings, and other surfaces that absorb and retain heat. This increases temperatures, energy costs, air pollution, and the level of heat-related illness. As the world heats up, and as cities increase in size, this effect is set to worsen. Cleantech startup FortyGuard aims to provide hyperlocal mobile sensing data analysis which could help planners to reduce the heat island effect and improve conditions within cities. Read more

Photo source Jan Landau on Unsplash


An estimated 30 per cent of the food produced for human consumption globally is lost or wasted somewhere along the food supply chain. This not only makes it harder to feed everyone and raises the cost of food, but it also represents a substantial waste of resources. Food loss takes place all along the food supply chain – during production, post-harvest, and at the processing and sales stages. To tackle this problem, Right Farm is using predictive technology that facilitates routing, operations, and purchasing, getting food to where it can be used most efficiently. Read more

Curated By: Matthew Hempstead

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