The Dubai Tourism Future of Tourism Challenge

Applications are now closed. Semi-finalists will be contacted directly

The Challenge

To anticipate and accommodate the opportunities and advances in tourism, Dubai Tourism, Emaar Hospitality Group and Atlantis Hotel are launching the Future of Tourism Challenge.

This program will activate the startup community and uncover those technologies that will help transform the tourism experience in Dubai.

Twenty applicants will be selected to pitch on stage at GITEX Future Stars. DTCM and its partners will actively be serving as mentors to teach the startups about their business challenges, identify pilots and investment opportunities.

This program will be the perfect opportunity for participants to work on specific challenges, sponsored by corporations, with the potential to have a strategic partnership, pilot or contract with one of the sponsoring corporations.

Want to know more about the program? Read the Futurism Challenge FAQ here.

Location: Za’abeel Hall 5, 10x Stage

For detailed timings please see our Agenda page



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The Sponsors

Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing

With the ultimate vision of positioning Dubai as the world’s leading tourism destination and commercial hub, Dubai Tourism’s mission is to increase the awareness of Dubai among global audiences and to attract tourists and inward investment into the emirate.

Dubai Tourism is the principal authority for the planning, supervision, development and marketing of Dubai’s tourism sector. It markets and promotes the Emirate’s commerce sector, and is responsible for the licensing and classification of all tourism services, including hotels, tour operators and travel agents. Brands and departments within the Dubai Tourism portfolio include Dubai Business Events, Dubai Calendar, and Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment.

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Atlantis, The Palm Dubai

Atlantis, The Palm is the first entertainment resort destination in the region and located at the centre of the crescent of The Palm in Dubai. Opened in September 2008, the unique ocean-themed resort features a variety of marine and entertainment attractions, as well as 17 hectares of waterscape amusement at Aquaventure Waterpark, all within a 46 hectare site. It is home to one of the largest open-air marine habitats in the world, with over 65,000 marine animals in lagoons and displays including The Lost Chambers Aquarium, a maze of underwater corridors and passageways providing a journey through ancient Atlantis. 

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Emaar Hospitality Group

Emaar Hospitality Group LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emaar Properties PJSC, the Dubai-based global property developer, and manages Emaar’s hospitality and leisure projects globally. Defining its competency in managing mixed-use property developments, Emaar Hospitality Group owns and manages a diversified portfolio of assets including hotels, serviced residences, golf clubs, polo club, marina and lifestyle dining restaurants.

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How do I apply?

All startups must submit an application through the Future of Tourism Challenge website


What is the criteria to enter?

  • Your startup must be a for-profit business.
  • Your business must be a scalable product or service and in-market (MVP or pilots are fine but must fundamentally be beyond “idea stage”).
  • Your startup must have at least two team members.
  • Your startup’s product or service should be possible to implement in Dubai from a technical and legal standpoint.
  • Your startup must be willing to implement your product or service in Dubai.



What are the prizes?


  • Competing startups will receive pitch training by mentors and experts in Dubai.
  • Competing startups will pitch at GITEX Future Stars event during the week of October 15th - October 18th, 2018.
  • Travel and accommodations will be covered exclusively by DTCM. This includes Economy class tickets and 4-star hotel reservations.



  • Each of the four winner will be awarded an AED 50,000 cheque.
  • Each of the four winners will be invited to participate in a four week innovation lab to work closely with DTCM, Emaar Hospitality Group and Atlantis Hotel




Official and Exclusive Innovation Partner