Dubai Tourism launches international search for travel start-ups

2017-08-28 12:03 - Kavitha Pillay
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Cape Town - Calling all travel-tech creatives from across the globe - Dubai Tourism and GITEX Future Stars invites you to submit ideas and business plans to revolutionise the UAE city’s travel and tourism sector.

Dubai Tourism partnered with GITEX Future Stars to launch the first-ever Dubai Tourism Startup Competition - Futurism, and encourages innovators from around the world to get involved and submit their ideas.

The competition offers a platform for start-ups worldwide, by giving them a chance to share their innovative ideas and creativity to help boost the tourism industry.

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According to Dubai tourism, the competition is in line with the Dubai 10X initiative launched under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which is guiding the emirate’s journey towards becoming a global hub for innovation in the next ten years.

The competition also aims to discover innovative solutions and facilitate "further growth of the start-up ecosystem, in alignment with Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020, to attract 20 million visitors per year by 2020".

Applications for the competition will be accepted until early September. Click here to apply online.

'Platform for start-ups to succeed'

Yousuf Lootah of Dubai Tourism says through the launch of the competition the tourism board and city aims to "continue to encourage pioneering thinking, and offer a platform for start-ups to succeed".

"As we progress towards the future, start-ups play a crucial role not only in the growth of the economy, but also in discovering solutions to meet evolving needs and tackle industry gaps. We are proud to collaborate with GITEX Future Stars to drive entrepreneurship forward, and are committed to building an environment that will help nurture innovative ideas and facilitate success,” says Lootah.

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Trixie LohMirmand of Dubai World Trade Centre says that “GITEX Future Stars is designed to bring creative technologies and innovation to the forefront of the industry."

"The Dubai Tourism Futurism Competition will provide a stage for the world’s best travel technology start-ups to come together to enhance and disrupt technology solutions for travellers across the world."

How the competition works?

Individuals and start-ups can submit their ideas and business plans for two key pillar categories in the competition: hospitality and visitor experience.

Each submission will be judged by a panel of experts, and a shortlist of the top 30 submissions will be awarded exhibition space at this year’s edition of GITEX Technology Week, that takes place in Dubai from 8 October to 12 October 2017. GITEX Technology Week will offer a platform to the shortlisted candidates, to showcase their solutions to the industry experts who will be attending.

Three winners will then be selected in each category and will receive access to Dubai Tourism experts and industry leaders "to transform their vision to reality".

The six winners will also receve a total prize value of US$ 100 000 (R1.3m @R13.21/$) as initial start-up capital.

"Dubai has long been a world leader in both technology and tourism, making it the ideal location to launch a global travel technology competition that is sure to enhance the way the world travels and support tourism in Dubai and beyond,” adds LohMirmand.

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