The seventh edition of the “Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival 2024” kicked off under the slogan “Together… We Shape the Future” at the Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park, with the participation of over 200 speakers from 15 countries, making it one of the region’s premier events showcasing entrepreneurial skills over the course of February 3rd and 4th.
The festival’s opening ceremony was presided over by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), with the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud, President of the Saudi Arabian Esports Federation, and His Excellency Dr. Sultan Al-Nuaimi, Minister of State for Youth, and Mr. Mohamed Alabbar, Founder of Emaar Properties, along with senior officials, representatives from government and private sectors, business leaders, venture capitalists, university students, artists, academics, and members of the community.
In her opening speech, Sheraa’s CEO, Najla Al Midfa, praised the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, which inspired Sheraa to commit to paving the way for theoretical ideas towards practical projects. She emphasized the value of taking the first step towards success and the importance of not delaying the pursuit of dreams and goals.
Al Midfa also announced the renaming of the street behind Sheraa’s headquarters in the Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park to “Innovation Street,” symbolizing the relationship between knowledge and wisdom on one hand, and the world of creativity and innovation on the other.
This renaming reflects Sharjah’s commitment to building a bright future and paving the way for future generations towards success and positive change.
In his address, HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud shared his insights and experiences in the field of
innovation and technology, stressing the importance of youth as a driving force for innovation and development. He called on them to embrace innovation and creativity and invest in technology to shape a better future for themselves and their communities.
HRH also highlighted the video gaming sector as an example of a global industry that combines technology and entertainment, praising the successes and achievements of Arab and Gulf innovators in this field.
He affirmed the Saudi Arabian Esports Federation’s support for this sector and for entrepreneurs seeking to develop and improve it.
Dr. Sultan Al-Nuaimi focused on the role of youth in investing in innovation in his speech titled “Space Stories: Inspiring the Human Spirit,” emphasizing that the UAE relies on youth in all fields, especially entrepreneurship. He stressed that supporting youth is not only a right but also a national duty to empower our nations and achieve their aspirations.
He stated that youth support is not limited to financial support but includes technical, training, and guidance support, as well as involving them in the business sector and motivating them to innovate and excel in various fields, especially those related to space, technology, and science.
In his inspiring speech to entrepreneurs and startups, Mohamed Alabbar, the founder of Emaar Properties, advised them to adhere to the core principles of having a good product and service.
He emphasized that entrepreneurial success is not solely tied to the individual but depends on teamwork and learning from others.
Alabbar concluded by highlighting the importance of humility and recognizing that success is a result of collective efforts, urging entrepreneurs to surround themselves with remarkable people who enrich their businesses and add real value.
At the end of the opening ceremony, all partners who played a pivotal role in supporting the festival and its vision were honored in the presence of Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi. She then toured the festival, inspecting the areas and platforms designed to host specialized content and training programs.
The Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival 2024 offers hundreds of impactful activities and events across 9 areas, including 5 zones and 4 interactive platforms hosting over 50 panel discussions, workshops to develop skills, startup competitions, cultural and entertainment shows, networking areas, and sessions to facilitate collaboration and partnerships between investors and those seeking investment funding.