Applications for 3rd edition of futurism programme to close on 31 July 2019 

Start-ups from around the world show strong interest for Dubai Tourism initiative to support technology innovation within industry ecosystem 

HE Helal Saeed Almarri - Director General DTCM

HE Helal Saeed Almarri - Director General DTCM

  • Programme supported by more than 12 partners from the government and private sectors 

  • Futurism Programme run in collaboration with Accenture aims to offer transformative travel experiences for visitors and position Dubai as a technology hub for start-ups  

Dubai: The deadline for technology start-ups to enter this year’s international AED100,000 Futurism Programme, a zero-equity accelerator initiative of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), closes on 31 July 2019.  The annual Futurism Programme aims to boost technology innovation within the tourism industry ecosystem and further position Dubai as a leading international technology hub for start-ups. 

Since it was launched earlier this month, the 3rd edition of the Futurism Programme, run in collaboration with leading professional services company, Accenture (NYSE: ACN), has generated strong interest among start-ups around the world, resulting in high quality submissions to date. The 2019 Futurism Programme has the support of key industry partners and investors representing a broad spectrum of sectors, from travel to hospitality, and aviation to artificial intelligence, finance to technology and transportation. They include strategic partner, Seera Group, and industry partners Atlantis The Palm, Emaar Hospitality Group, the Emirates Group and Accor Hotels. The Futurism Programme also welcomes to its partnership network Dubai SME, Shorooq Investments, Wamda, Middle East Venture Partners, Microsoft, Amazon, Dentons, Alteryx and Careem. 

The range of start-ups will have the opportunity to showcase innovative technology solutions to help drive a variety of Futurism themes to personalise and offer end-to-end seamless traveller experiences, optimise industry operations, encourage visitors to make Dubai their destination of choice and support sustainable travel. 

Commenting on the latest edition of the Futurism Programme, His Excellency, Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai Tourism, said: “Our Futurism Programme is inspired by the Dubai 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 develop disruptive strategies and solutions that will propel Dubai 10 years in front of other world cities. Dubai Tourism is now fully focussed on further enhancing the Futurism initiative to create a conducive environment where start-ups, global innovators and entrepreneurs can access a zero-equity accelerator programme, as well as support and advise to enable them to succeed and grow. 

“The growing interest among industry partners, venture capital firms and start-ups that have already applied for this year’s Futurism Programme is clear evidence that Dubai’s reputation as an entrepreneurial hub is continuing to gain rapid momentum. Indeed, the programme will not only ensure a great experience for start-ups and a suitable testing ground for new ideas but also provides trend-setting technology solutions to make the tourist’s experience transformative and even more memorable, as part of our efforts to make Dubai the world’s most visited city in line with Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2022-2025.” 

Abdullah Bin Nasser Aldawood, Chief Executive Officer, Seera Group, said: “We are honoured to partner with the international Futurism Programme by Dubai Tourism, which underlines the concerted efforts to drive technology innovation in the travel and tourism sector. Our region’s young, tech-savvy youth will be at the heart of this transformational initiative that will encourage start-ups to present innovative ideas to enhance the traveller experience. As an organisation committed to embracing advanced digital technologies, we see this is an opportunity not only to nurture our young talents for the industry but also to potentially incubate ideas that will add significant value to our industry.” 

A judging panel consisting of leading technology experts, Dubai Tourism’s senior leadership and its industry partners, will shortlist top 10 start-ups from all entries received.  The finalists will then be put through a 6-week accelerator programme featuring boot camp sessions, networking with key industry partners and one-on-one mentorships. During the accelerator phase, each of the finalists will be given the opportunity to finalise a pilot project with the support of Dubai Tourism, Seera Group, Atlantis The Palm, Emaar Hospitality Group, the Emirates Group and Accor Hotels, along with the supporting partners.   

The start-ups will present their pitches before an audience of business owners, potential investors and venture capitalists at the Dubai Tourism stand at GITEX Future Stars - the Middle East and Africa’s largest start-up conference of global tech entrepreneurs, international investors and influential corporate buyers, which will be hosted later this year. 

Dubai Tourism will announce the winning start-up and a runner-up, who stand to win a prize totalling AED 100,000 in initial start-up capital.  In addition to licensing, the winner will receive relevant visas in Dubai, office space and the opportunity to secure potential future funding. 

Since the inception of the Futurism Programme in 2017, Dubai Tourism has helped create a pathway for several pioneering start-up businesses from around the world to showcase their unique concepts and successfully embed their solutions into Dubai’s tourism offerings.  Now in its third consecutive year, the 2019 Futurism Programme will provide participating start-ups the opportunity to benefit from international visibility and recognition through a 360 global marketing and public relations campaign, as well as access to leading corporations and government entities in Dubai and the wider region.  

For full details of the schedule and to submit an application, visit  

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© Press Release 2019

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