Startups shine at Dubai Tourism Futurism Competition
Two startups were declared the winners of the first ever Dubai Tourism Futurism Competition, which is all set to return bigger and better in the coming years, officials said on Thursday.
Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) launched the Dubai Tourism Futurism Competition in partnership with Gitex Future Stars. The competition featured two key categories - hospitality services and visitor experience - for which over 130 entries were received from around the world. Three winners from each category were given a chance to win Dh20,000, Dh60,000, and Dh100,000 to invest in their start-ups.
Twistar, a startup that helps businesses make more meaningful connections with their customers, won the Dh100,000 grand prize in the hospitality services segment, while Storagei, which is developing a way for flyers to check in their baggage before even reaching the airport, won the grand prize in the visitor experience segment.
Yousuf Lootah, executive director of tourism development & investments at Dubai's Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, said that it was a challenge to select the winners after receiving more than 100 applications. "We had some really wonderful ideas come in and it was difficult to shortlist them to 60, then 30, and then the 10 that made it to the stage. Even for those that did not win today, there was an opportunity to network with other professionals and discuss ways of collaboration that will take their ideas further in the future."
Lootah also noted that startups like the ones that brought their ideas to the stage during the competition were increasingly important in the challenging and competitive world of hospitality. "Startups are agile, and many large corporations rely on them to come up with solutions that will aid them in resolving issues and working closer everyday towards business excellence."
He further noted that the competition was not the end for those with ideas. Interested parties can go to the Visit Dubai website and submit their business ideas on how to elevate Dubai as a choice destination.