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Thu 28 Feb 2019 09:39 AM

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Abu Dhabi partners with Silicon Valley accelerator to boost travel start-ups

Etihad Airways is one of the partners in Plug and Play's programme, which will launch in Q3 this year

Abu Dhabi partners with Silicon Valley accelerator to boost travel start-ups
The accelerator programme, which will launch in the third quarter of 2019, will see the first batch of selected start-ups begin their work from ADGM’s office in Al Maryah Island.

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Etihad Airways and the Department of Culture and Tourism has teamed up with Silicon Valley accelerator Plug and Play to boost start-ups in the UAE’s travel and hospitality sector, the parties said during a press conference in the capital on Wednesday.

The accelerator programme, which will launch in the third quarter of 2019, will see the first batch of selected start-ups begin their work from ADGM’s office in Al Maryah Island.

Plug and Play’s role will include attracting start-ups from across the GCC and other parts of the world

“ADGM is excited about the new Plug and Play ADGM’s start-up programme for the travel and hospitality sector and looks forward to collaborating with the corporate partners and start-ups,” said Dhaher Bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO of the Registration Authority of ADGM.

“This new venture dovetails with ADGM’s commitment and ongoing efforts in advancing the UAE and Abu Dhabi’s blueprint to boost the competitiveness and attractiveness of the business environment, particularly, in empowering and supporting start-ups and innovators from the tourism and key industrial sectors,” he added.

The partnership is in line with Abu Dhabi’s plan to strengthen its tourism and hospitality sectors, which currently account for 5.4 percent of the UAE’s GDP.

“Establishing Abu Dhabi’s credentials as a world-class destination with universal appeal across all global traveller demographics is our key mandate at DCT Abu Dhabi, and this collaboration with Plug and Play ADGM, in tandem with our local partners, will allow us to forge a framework where innovation can flourish, and the potency and reach of our global messaging can be enhanced,” said Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary at DCT Abu Dhabi.

Plug and Play is currently working with a number of airlines including Star Alliance and Singapore Airlines to improve innovation in the travel sector.