Dubai Tourism start-up accelerator applications to close next week

25 July 2019 3 min. read

Submissions for Dubai Tourism’s Futurism start-up programme are due to close next week, with aspiring tech start-ups from all over the world invited to apply.

Now in its third edition, Dubai Tourism’s Futurism Programme – run in collaboration with leading professional services firm Accenture – is an entrepreneurial platform aimed at “bringing about a paradigm shift within the industry ecosystem to help create innovative tourism experiences.” Open to aspiring start-ups the world over, applications are due to close at the end of this month.

Up to ten successful applicants – chosen by a judging panel consisting of leading technology experts, Dubai Tourism’s senior leadership and its partners across the industry – will undergo a six-week accelerator programme during which each be given the opportunity to finalise a pilot project and pitch their unique concepts to a group of business owners, investors and venture capitalists.

Supported by Dubai Tourism and its partners, among them Tajawal, the Seera Group, Atlantis The Palm, Emaar Hospitality Group and the Emirates Group, the final pitch is set to take place later this year during the GITEX Future Stars event – described as the Middle East and Africa’s largest start-up conference of global tech entrepreneurs, international investors and influential corporate buyers.

While all participating start-ups will benefit from high-level exposure and international visibility through a “360-global marketing and public relations campaign”, Dubai Tourism will following the event announce the winning start-up, which is in line to receive AED 100,000 in initial start-up capital, along with licensing, relevant Dubai visas, office space, and the opportunity to secure potential future funding.

Dubai Tourism start-up accelerator applications to close next week

“Since the inception of the Futurism Programme in 2017, Dubai Tourism has helped shine a light on several pioneering start-up businesses from around the world, supporting them to become true success stories, as their solutions have led to impactful improvements to the travel and tourism sector,” said Yousuf Lootah, Dubai Tourism’s Executive Director for Tourism Development & Investments.

Lootah continued; “This year, Dubai Tourism is once again fortunate to have the support of leading global and local partners, and we look forward to working closely with Accenture and Tajawal – Seera Group to bring increased innovation to our tourism industry, to nurture the pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit of Dubai, as we work collectively towards becoming the most visited city in the world.”

Prior to the launch of the 2019 edition of the Futurism Programme, Dubai Tourism brought together key stakeholders for a workshop to examine new travel and technology trends within the industry, identifying the key themes that will drive the start-up programme; Hyper personalisation, Connected travel, Digitising operations, First choice destination, Conscious travel, and ‘Phygital’ experience.

As an example, ‘Hyper personalisation’ concerns using consumer insights through data analytics to personalise visitor experiences, while ‘Phygital experience’ refers to “technology that will see the convergence of the physical and digital touchpoints in the tourist journey to create unified experiences.” Connected travel meanwhile seeks to blur the boundaries between aviation, hospitality and tourism.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Dubai Tourism to co-create a programme that brings together start-ups and disruptive technologies from around the world to push the tourism industry forward,” said Accenture’s Middle East & Turkey Products group lead Norberto Cibien. “Through this programme, we are making a commitment to help start-ups grow within this thriving ecosystem.”