• Third edition of Futurism Programme shines a spotlight on technological innovation in the travel and tourism sector
• Winners receive cash prize and membership in the innovation attraction programme “ABRA” from Dubai SME
Dubai, UAE 23 October 2019: The winners of the 2019 edition of the Dubai Tourism Futurism Programme were announced at GITEX Future Stars - the largest technology event in The Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Finalists went head to head in front of industry experts and jury members to win cash funding, a trade licence and visas, as part of the innovation attraction programme “ABRA” under Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the SME sector.
Led by Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) in collaboration with leading professional services company Accenture (NYSE: ACN), the Futurism Programme reinforces the Department's ongoing efforts to strengthen the emirate's digital and entrepreneurial capabilities in line with the 10x initiative, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to propel the city 10 years ahead of world cities.
Finalists underwent an intensive six-week programme which closed with four-days of industry presentations, mentoring sessions and workshops held at GITEX Future Stars. They were able to hone their pitching skills before presenting their technological solutions to the jury panel and leading industry experts as well as corporate investors in the travel and tourism space.
The 2019 winners of the Dubai Futurism Programme:
• Xandar Kardian who provide innovative solutions for smart buildings, including hotels utilising digital radar signal processing algorithm technology to enhance the quality of people's lives without sacrificing on comfort and privacy.
• Omniflow who have developed a smart energy platform powered by wind and solar with integrated energy storage for IoT applications. The Smart Energy Platform aggregates multiple service layers to be used in many applications including smart lighting with integration of mobility, surveillance with smart analytics and telecom functionalities.
Speaking about the importance of nurturing entrepreneurship, Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director of Tourism Development and Investments at Dubai's Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, said: “In line with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai's, 10X initiative, Dubai Tourism is heavily invested in nurturing the start-up ecosystem, particularly where it applies to redefining the travel and tourism experience through technology. The Futurism Programme is a powerful platform that connects entrepreneurs to investors by helping promising start-ups tackle industry challenges, hone their business model, benefit from industry leaders and introduce themselves to sponsoring corporations for potential partnerships”.
With the two winning start-ups set to receive AED 50,000 in cash funding, both entities will also be awarded with a trade license and visas as part of the innovation attraction program “ABRA” under Dubai SME in order to establish their businesses in Dubai.
Mr Lootah continued: “With the huge potential that exists from emerging technologies developed by promising start-ups, we are committed to supporting the entrepreneurs that will help us cement the emirate's credentials as the world's leading destination for leisure and business travel.”
Mr. Saeed Matar Al Marri, Deputy CEO, Dubai SME commented: “We are excited to see government entities and the private sector coming up with path-breaking initiatives to stimulate entrepreneurial ideas and enable start-up growth in Dubai. The Dubai Tourism Futurism Programme is outstanding in that it channels the entrepreneurial talent in the country into a sector critical to Dubai's attractiveness as a destination and hub. Dubai SME is proud to be providing the winners of the programme with the resources required to take off, achieve competitiveness, and grow sustainably.”
The 2019 Futurism Programme has the support of key industry partners and investors representing a broad spectrum of sectors, from travel to hospitality, aviation to legal, finance to technology and transportation. Partners include strategic partner; Seera Group and industry partners; Atlantis The Palm, Emaar Hospitality Group, the Emirates Group and Accor Hotels. The partnership network also includes Microsoft, Alteryx, Amazon, Wamda, MEVP, Shorooq Investments, Dentons, Clyde&Co, Careem, Dubai SME, Astrolabs and Beco Capital.