Entrepreneurs in the Arab World are Leaping into Action
Seeqnce is part of another Arab spring. Incubators are trying to do for Cairo (Flat6Labs) and Jordan (Oasis500) what Seeqnce is doing for Beirut. Private-equity firms such as Abraaj Capital and Citadel Capital are investing in high-growth companies. ArabNet helps techies to network. New ventures are popping up everywhere. Cinemoz, in Beirut, allows access to the Arab world’s biggest online library of films and soap operas. Diwanee, in Dubai, provides online articles in Arabic for women. Ekshef links patients with doctors in Egypt.
For example, IrisGuard developed a system for identifying people from their irises (which means that women do not have to remove their veils). It is now used by border guards and banks across the region and beyond. GEMS, which was founded in Dubai in 1968, is one of the largest education companies in the world, with 110,000 students and schools in nine countries. The company has tackled one of the region’s biggest problems—the low quality of its teachers—by recruiting staff from around the world and emphasising their high status.