UAE Ministry of Economy Partners with Plug and Play for Tourism Hackathon

The UAE Ministry of Economy has collaborated with global technology accelerator Plug and Play to launch a hackathon program that aims to boost the Emirates’ tourism sector.

The Tourism TechGen program will leverage digitization technologies and help students develop innovative solutions for the industry in partnership with local tourism authorities, the ministry said on Monday.

The move is in line with the UAE’s 50 Principles, which consist of a series of initiatives to drive economic growth and prepare for a rapidly changing future.

Key government agencies and private sector companies participating in the hackathon include Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah tourism departments, Etihad Airways, exhibition company Adnec Group and developer Miral.

The educational institutions of the program are Zayed University, Khalifa University, United Arab Emirates University, and graduate schools of technology, among others.

“The UAE has made great strides towards the future of tourism through its continued support and development of the sector, a sector which is vital and a key driver in promoting sustainable economic growth,” said the Minister of Tourism. Economy Abdulla bin Touq.

“Over the past few years, our country has continued to record solid and record levels of growth, thanks to our well-established comprehensive tourism system.”

Hackathons are gatherings of computer programmers and other concerned participants who engage in collaborative programming with the goal of creating new solutions for various use cases.

The UAE is actively working to bring the hackathon community together, with programs such as UAE Hackathon and Abu Dhabi Global Markets’ FinTech Nations Global Hackathon, among others.

Tourism is one of the main pillars of the UAE economy which has rebounded from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dubai welcomed around 8.1 million international visitors in the first seven months of 2022, nearly tripling from a year ago and exceeding the total for all of 2021.

Tourism also plays a key role in boosting related industries. Abu Dhabi’s meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions industry, for example, is growing rapidly thanks to government policies that have supported the sector.

The main objective of the tourism hackathon is “to provide a platform that supports and enhances the skills of the youth of the United Arab Emirates while enabling the country’s tourism sector to develop innovative services that can strengthen the whole of the industry,” said Saeed Amidi, Managing Director and Founder of Plug and Play. .

Tourism TechGen – whose applications opened on Monday – will work with local and international partners to train talent and equip them with emerging technologies to prepare them for the future economy.

In addition to development solutions tailored to the tourism industry, participants will also be trained in harnessing creativity and innovation in the sector, as well as creating and managing entrepreneurial businesses.

“We aspire to provide a wealth of opportunities that can help our students to enhance their contributions and involvement in this field,” said Mr. bin Touq.

“It also provides opportunities to showcase the conducive business environment the UAE offers for individuals and investors to pursue entrepreneurship in the sector and contribute to national economic growth.”

Updated: October 10, 2022, 11:40 a.m.

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