Announcing Fikra Labs, entrepreneurs’ ticket for innovation in world-class travel and tourism

Putting Abu Dhabi at the forefront of innovation. (Image via ADNEC)

Innovation is often the ultimate differentiator between leaders and followers.

Today’s world is quickly adapting to whatever comes its way, to the point that it is forcing decision makers to step up and make a move. Innovation is at the core of this change, and highly linked to how changemakers are apt to identify sector challenges and solve them.

 Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company (ADNEC)Etihad Aviation GroupMiral and The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, are leading by example. The four have come together for the first time to create an acceleration programme tailored to startups wanting to solve travel and tourism challenges in Abu Dhabi, in partnership with entrepreneurship enabling organisation Wamda.

The outcome of the partnership? Fikra Labs.

Fikra Lab, which means Idea Lab, is a three-month program, divided into three main phases: an intensive bootcamp for training and mentorship, a four-week acceleration programme for shortlisted startups, and a demo day with an award ceremony at the end.

Fikra Labs will be officially open for startup applications on February 5.

The four partners will set challenges related to the travel and tourism sector to which participants must come up with innovative solutions. Each of them will then select one winning startup to work directly with after the programme ends. In addition to collaborating with a leading organisation and getting access to industry experts, startups will receive $100,000 of investment in return to 20 percent equity stake from the relevant partner.  

“As part of our mandate to promote Abu Dhabi as a destination of distinction, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, together with Miral, Etihad Aviation Group and ADNEC, has partnered with Wamda to launch this programme to encourage startups to tackle specific challenges in the Emirate’s travel and tourism sector, and to further elevate its business community. We are excited to identify the best talent who will drive innovation and help further transform Abu Dhabi into the leading global hub for travel and tourism, so that we can continue to provide visitors with the best experiences. The programme also reflects the Department’s commitment to supporting the sustainable economic growth of the capital, in line with the government’s Vision,” said His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, in a press release.

Travel and tourism are the face of a country and the last impression. A plan set by The Government of Abu Dhabi is putting these two main sectors at the core of  Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030. The vision aims to achieve a sustainable economy through a number of programs, including those covering tourism and travel. 

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