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Home / Features / Dubai Tourism announces 10 finalists of futurism programme 2019
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Dubai Tourism announces 10 finalists of futurism programme 2019

Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing has announced the 10 finalists of its international Futurism Programme 2019, a zero-equity accelerator initiative that is being run in collaboration with leading professional services company Accenture to further boost technology innovation to create transformative tourism experiences and enhance Dubai’s position as a leading hub for start-ups. The 2019 edition of the programme provided entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase innovative technology solutions to help drive a variety of Futurism themes, including hyper personalisation; connected travel; digitising operations; first choice destination; conscious travel; and ‘phygital’ experience.

The 3rd edition of the programme generated strong interest, with 155 start-ups worldwide submitting applications before the deadline of 5 August.  From this list of entries, the 10 most innovative concepts were shortlisted for the final round by a special judging panel comprising representatives of the Programme’s partners. The 10 shortlisted start-ups are Stayhopper, Ads-Flight, Stayology, Further Network, Ariadne Maps, Airlines Technology, Omniflow S.A, Chatdesk, Cerebri AI and Xandar Kardian.

The 10 finalists are now undergoing a 6-week accelerator programme featuring boot camp sessions, networking with key industry partners and one-on-one mentorships. During this phase, each of the selected start-ups will receive guidance from Dubai Tourism and its partners on finalising a pilot project and ways in which they could use their innovative solutions across Dubai’s travel and tourism sector. The start-ups will then pitch to a select jury of business owners, investors and venture capitalists at the Dubai Tourism stand at GITEX Future Stars, the largest startup event in Middle East, Africa and South East Asia - part of the GITEX Technology Week - which will be hosted in October. 

The winning start-up and runner-up stand to win a prize totalling AED 100,000, as well as licensing, relevant visas in Dubai, office space and the opportunity to secure potential future funding.

Commenting on the selection of 10 finalists, Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director – Tourism Development & Investments, Dubai Tourism said: “The overwhelming response to our Futurism Programme speaks volumes of Dubai’s attractiveness as a regional technology hub and our ongoing efforts to drive the tourism industry into the digital era 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 create a Dubai that will be 10 years ahead of other world cities. The high level of interest shown by start-ups worldwide is testament to Dubai’s reputation as an entrepreneurial hub that is committed to inspiring future technology leaders to think beyond traditional business models and limitations. We look forward to working closely with our finalists and connecting them with industry pioneers so they can truly realise their potential and support us in our goal to provide end-to-end seamless experiences to tourists from around the world.

“With the 3rd edition of the Futurism Programme now reaching a crucial and interesting stage, we would also like to express our appreciation for the wholehearted support extended by our partners from diverse sectors, as we continue to collaborate to offer a platform for technology startups to succeed and add exceptional value to the tourist’s journey to Dubai.”

In addition to Accenture, the 2019 Futurism Programme also has the support of key industry partners and investors representing a broad spectrum of sectors, from travel to hospitality, and aviation to legal, finance to technology and transportation. They include strategic partner, Seera Group, industry partners Atlantis The Palm, Emaar Hospitality Group, the Emirates Group and Accor Hotels. The partnership network also includes Dubai SME, Shorooq Investments, Wamda, Middle East Venture Partners, Microsoft, Amazon, Dentons, Alteryx and Careem.

“Collaborating with Dubai Tourism to co-create a programme that nurtures innovative talent is a fundamental priority because of the immense benefits it brings to the economy and society,” said Norberto Cibien, Products Client Service Group lead, Accenture Middle East & Turkey.  “Accenture is committed to the region's Travel and Tourism aspirations and this collaboration with Dubai Tourism is an example of our dedication to bringing and embedding an exceptional quality of start-ups into the Dubai ecosystem to grow the industry. We are proud to play our part by bringing our expertise in building and running similar programs around the world to support Dubai Tourism in creating an internationally renowned ecosystem where travel and tourism start-ups can thrive.”



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