Aldar launches second cycle of its extremely profitable “Manassah” entrepreneurship programme


In addition to the Incubator in Manassah, Aldar is launching an exclusive youth-oriented initiative through its Aldar Academies. Manassah Youth will develop the next generation of regional entrepreneurs through a dedicated training program that focuses on finding solutions to complex problems and turning concepts into viable business strategies. Additionally, this edition of Manassah brings together the Department of Culture and Youth, the Khalifa Fund, the Department of Community Development and the Brinc Accelerator as partners, providing startups with access to the network and business development opportunities.

Commenting on the second round of the competition, Sheikha Alia Khalid Al Qassimi, Deputy Undersecretary of State for Culture and Creative Industries Sector, Ministry of Culture and Youth, said the Ministry is pleased to expand its support, especially given the importance attached to the competition become an SME in the cultural and creative industries. “Through our partnership with the program, we want to promote entrepreneurship in the creative industries and offer creatives and innovators new opportunities. One of the main objectives of the ministry is to help increase the contribution of the cultural and creative industries to the country’s GDP. The creative industries have become an important engine of economic growth worldwide, including our region“She pointed out.

Saoud Khoory, Aldar Investment’s Chief Retail Officer, said: “The success of the first cycle of Manassah, which brought three retail concepts to life at Aldars Mamsha Al Saadiyat, shows the wealth of talent we have in the UAE and across the region. Innovation is key to fueling the future of the UAE retail sector and we at Aldar are determined to play an active role in accelerating that growth by investing in concepts that redefine and redefine the customer journey. The combination of the Manassah program and the entrepreneurial spirit of Abu Dhabi puts the emirate in an excellent position to capitalize on the opportunities this growth offers. As Manassah continues to evolve and evolve, we can build a native innovation ecosystem to support retail entrepreneurs and SMEs in the UAE. “

startAD and Aldar will support the participants of the curated incubation program by providing them with the necessary tools to advance, scale and get their ventures started. As part of the program, accepted companies receive training and mentoring from the best local and global experts in entrepreneurship, retail and technology.

Ramesh Jagannathan, CEO of startAD and Vice Provost for Innovation at NYU Abu Dhabi, commented: “The past 12 months have been challenging for retailers, but this has opened up a lot of new opportunities. In two short years through 2023, retail sales in the GCC are estimated at $ 308 billion. Manassah cultivates a community of entrepreneurs who can redefine the global retail landscape to meet changing customer needs. Today the UAE is the fifth largest retail destination in the world. The resounding success of the first edition of Manassah reflects the drive of our regional entrepreneurs. We’re also inspired by the phenomenal gender inclusiveness we’ve seen: 83% of the finalists were founded by women entrepreneurs, and 67% of the winners have a woman from the Emirates as the founder.

For a retail entrepreneur in the GCC, this is the right place and time. Aldar and startAD invite you to take advantage of Manassah – the unique opportunity to stay one step ahead of the pandemic-affected market and meet the challenges of scalability with the right support, resources and partners. “

After 150 submissions, Manassah 1.0 saw three concepts, Coffee Architecture, Alkalime and Wake n ‘Bake, which were selected as winners of the first competition cycle and received equity-free incentives worth up to AED 1 million and a sales lease for one year at Aldar Mamsha Al Saadiyat. Coffee architecture isA specialty coffee house built by the first female Emirati-certified Q-grader, designed for minimalism, passion, art and love in Abu Dhabi. Alkali is a feel-good café concept that offers customers healthy, nutritious and tasty food and drinks in a relaxing and environmentally friendly space. and Wake n ‘bake is a local emirate cook bakery specializing in handcrafted breads, custard donuts and other freshly handcrafted baked goods.

Manassah is an Aldar Youth Council initiative first submitted as part of Aldar’s Ibtikar Challenge, an in-house innovation program that encourages employees to take an active role in Aldar’s future growth and direction. The Aldar Youth Council was founded in 2018 with the aim of actively empowering Aldar youth, realizing their full career potential and working with other youth councils across the country.

For more information on how to enter the competition, please visit

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For further information please contact:
Obaid Al Yammahi
Aldar properties
+971 2 810 5555

Joudi Issa
+971 2 234 4600
[email protected]

About Aldar

Aldar Properties PJSC is the leading real estate developer and manager in the UAE with a diversified and sustainable operating model focused on two core businesses: Aldar Development and Aldar Investment.

Aldar Development is a key developer of integrated, livable and thriving communities in Abu Dhabi’s most desirable travel destinations, including Yas Island, Saadiyat Island, Al Raha and Reem Island. It is responsible for the development of Aldars c. 65 million square meters land bank with three businesses: Aldar Projects, which manages Aldar’s paid development management, including AED 45 billion government housing and infrastructure projects; Aldar Ventures, which incubates and nurtures new business opportunities and areas of innovation; and Aldar Egypt, the platform focused on developing mixed-use communities in Egypt.

Aldar Investment is home to Aldar’s core asset management business, which comprises a portfolio of investment grade and income generating real estate assets valued at AED 16 billion and is diversified across retail, residential and commercial segments. It also manages three core platforms: Aldar Education, Aldar Estates, and Aldar Hospitality and Leisure. Aldar Education encompasses Aldar’s entire educational portfolio, including Aldar Academies, the leading education group in Abu Dhabi, with 20 schools, over 24,000 students and a growing network of 3,000 educators from over 100 nationalities, a teacher training academy.

Aldar Estates will consolidate Aldar’s retail business alongside the existing residential and commercial property business within Provis and will bring community management together under one integrated property management platform. Aldar Hospitality and Leisure takes care of Aldar’s portfolio of hotel and leisure facilities anchored around Yas Island and Saadiyat. It includes Aldar’s portfolio of 10 hotels, spanning over 2,900 hotel keys, and managing operations at golf courses, beach clubs and marinas.

Traded on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ALDAR: UH), Aldar’s shares are a profitable, cash-generating business that generates recurring income and benefits from a diverse and supportive shareholder base. Aldar works to high standards of corporate governance and strives to operate a long-term and sustainable business in order to offer its shareholders permanent added value.

Aldar is driven by the vision to be a leading real estate developer and manager in the area by playing a key role in creating high quality, comfortable and desirable travel destinations where people can live, work and visit.

More information about Aldar can be found at

About startAD
startAD is an Abu Dhabi-based global accelerator driving seed stage technology startups to launch, develop and scale their ventures. The accelerator operated by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi equips startups with pilot solutions with industry leaders and enables companies to innovate at startups that disrupt their core business.

startAD has the unique expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to develop startups with a focus on hardware and AI, as well as other solutions in priority industries such as aerospace, energy, sustainability, construction and security. Registered startups benefit from startAD’s extensive range of programs and the global network of investors, mentors and experts, as well as access to StartAD start-up capital for local startups. Since startAD was launched in 2016, the participating startups have invested USD 72 million, generated revenues of USD 50 million, secured over 50 pilot projects with companies and created over 250 jobs.

About Tamkeen
Tamkeen is an Abu Dhabi-based company that aims to carry out projects to fulfill the UAE’s vision of knowledge-based development. Tamkeen works with various local and international institutions to enrich the UAE’s social, cultural and educational landscape.

About NYU Abu Dhabi
NYU Abu Dhabi is the Middle East’s first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus operated by a major American research university overseas. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective fine arts, engineering and science curriculum into a world center for advanced research and science that enables its students to thrive in an increasingly interdependent world and to collaborate and advance on shared challenges to advance humanity. The high-performing students at NYU Abu Dhabi come from 115 nations and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU’s New York, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai locations form the backbone of a unique global university, offering faculties and students the opportunity to experience diverse learning environments and immersion in one or more of the many overseas study locations that NYU maintains To experience cultures on six continents.

© Press release 2021