• New partnership forged to amplify the culture and tourism mandate of Abu Dhabi
  • Hub71 to support with startup sourcing and joint innovation programs to deliver on DCT Abu Dhabi's innovation mandate
  • DCT Lab to set up a presence in Hub71, to grow sector innovation clusters from Abu Dhabi


Abu Dhabi, November 3, 2021: Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to further progress the technological development and future planning of Abu Dhabi’s culture and tourism sectors.

In line with DCT Abu Dhabi’s strategic vision of digital transformation to enhance people’s experiences and harness the power of technology, creativity and innovation to drive the sector. The agreement, signed by H.E. Saeed Al Fazari, Executive Director at DCT Abu Dhabi and Badr Al Olama, CEO, Hub71, will see both Hub71 and DCT Abu Dhabi identify and work with startups to work on potential solutions that will advance the tourism and culture sectors, collaborate on high-impact events and provide mentorship to founders and entrepreneurs.

Successful startups identified for future work will benefit from DCT Abu Dhabi funding the development of their proof of concepts (POCs) to help overcome challenges that will enhance tourism and culture experiences.

Saeed Al Fazari, Executive Director for Support Services Sector, DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Encouraging innovation is a key mandate for DCT Abu Dhabi, as we explore every available avenue in our pursuit of excellence across multiple sectors. This partnership with Hub71 will enable us to widen the net of potential startups we could collaborate with, maximizing our capacity to find the right solution that will work for our emirate as we promote the destination both locally and internationally.”

Badr Al Olama, CEO, at Hub71 said: “We are very excited to be partnering with DCT Abu Dhabi to enable their innovation mandate and digitize the travel & tourism, leisure & entertainment and cultural experiences for Abu Dhabi. Innovation in such sectors is particularly interesting to us as they are on the rise globally with new robotics, AI, VR/AR and IoT that could streamline, enhance and unify customer experiences. We are all for building communities that can service the wider Abu Dhabi agenda, and our partnership with DCT Abu Dhabi will allow us to unlock various sub-sectors of the industry.”

The partnership will include Hub71 providing DCT Abu Dhabi with access to a broad pipeline of startups, regionally and globally, that can provide a wide range of innovations to upscale the sectors’ services, in addition to Hub71’s quarterly cohort of startups. DCT Abu Dhabi and Hub71 will collaborate in organizing knowledge and expertise-based programs to foster existing startups within Hub71. DCT Abu Dhabi will also take part in Hub71’s flagship challenge, The Outliers, a celebrated program that invites the best and brightest startups from around the world to solve real problems set by Hub71’s corporate and government partners. The winning startup will be granted endorsement for the POCs by DCT Abu Dhabi.