Music streaming service Anghami to set up global headquarters in Abu Dhabi’s Hub71

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office will provide financial and non-financial incentives to the company through its Dh2bn Innovation Programme

Employees work on the couch at Anghami Headquarter offices. Anghami is the first legal music streaming platform and digital distribution company in the Arab World region launched in November 2012 providing unlimited Arabic and International music to stream and download for offline mode.

Photo by Natalie Naccache for The National
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Lebanon-born music streaming service Anghami will establish its global headquarters and a research and development centre at Abu Dhabi’s tech accelerator Hub71.

Anghami, which has more than 55 million users, will receive financial and non-financial incentives for its move through Abu Dhabi Investment Office's Innovation Programme, part of the emirate's Ghadan 21 initiative.

“Abu Dhabi is rapidly emerging as a go-to destination for innovation-focused companies, a place where ambitious businesses can pursue digital transformation in a stable, enabling and supportive environment,” Tariq Bin Hendi, director general of ADIO, said.

“We are committed to providing support for technology companies, recognising that progress in this area unlocks opportunities across other sectors by bringing the fundamental capabilities and infrastructure that all industries will benefit from. We welcome big thinkers aligned with Abu Dhabi’s vision to advance innovation.”

Dubai investment banking firm Shuaa Capital invested an undisclosed amount as part of a new funding round in Anghami earlier this month.

The music streaming app, which started with an investment of $200,000 from its two founders in 2012, has raised more than $40 million from investors including venture capital firm Middle East Venture Partners and Samena Capital. It has a catalogue comprising more than 50 million songs and has offices in Beirut, Dubai, Cairo and Riyadh.

By setting up its global HQ and R&D centre in Abu Dhabi, Anghami will benefit from access to capital, local talent and an R&D support network as it focuses on research and technical development to advance its proprietary in-house technology, the company said.

Abu Dhabi is rapidly emerging as a go-to destination for innovation-focused companies

“As we seek to tap into the considerable growth opportunities for Anghami, Abu Dhabi was a natural choice for our new global headquarters and R&D centre,” Eddy Maroun, co-founder of Anghami, said.

The music streaming app will help to nurture talent through mentorship initiatives within the local start-up community and offer fellowships for Emirati computer science and engineering graduates, the statement added.

ADIO's innovation programme targets businesses in high-growth areas including ICT, financial services, tourism, AgTech, health services and biopharma, among others.

Anghami competes with the likes of Swedish audio streaming giant Spotify and with Apple's streaming music service. Deezer, a French music streaming platform backed by Saudi Arabian businessman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, also entered the market in 2018.

In 2019, Anghami delivered 10 billion music streams, the company said.