Plug and Play ADGM to disrupt travel and hospitality industry in Middle East

ABU DHABI, 3rd March, 2019 (WAM) — Plug and Play, the largest global innovation platform, and Abu Dhabi Global Market, ADGM, today announced that Etihad Airways and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, DCT Abu Dhabi, as the founding corporate partners for their new Travel and Hospitality accelerator programme.

The Plug and Play ADGM team, Etihad Airways, and DCT Abu Dhabi will be working together to dictate the focus of the programme based on their current use cases and curating a selection of highly rated startups sourced via their global network. Plug and Play ADGM will work hand in hand with both partner’s business units to expedite the engagement process and encourage fruitful collaboration.

Plug and Play ADGM announced that Miral, Abu Dhabi’s creator of destinations, will participate in the accelerator programme, allowing them to engage with the selected startups and support the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem across the region. Startups participating in the accelerator programme will be able to benefit from ADNEC’s community partnership by attending their regular workshops, private events, and networking sessions.

These partners will also be able to leverage Plug and Play’s global ecosystem of over 25 travel and hospitality companies across the globe, from Silicon Valley to Singapore.

“The travel and hospitality sector is critical to Abu Dhabi’s socio-economic development and we are delighted to form this strategic partnership with Plug and Play ADGM to collectively establish an infrastructure which will enable innovation to flourish in the aviation sector,” said Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group.

For his part, Saif Saeed Ghobash, Under-Secretary at DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “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 allows us to forge a framework where innovation can flourish, and the potency and reach of our global messaging can be enhanced.”

“We are proud that the expansion of our activities into the Travel and Hospitality space will further support Abu Dhabi’s vision in becoming a regional hub for innovation,” said Omeed Mehrinfar, Managing Partner, Middle East at Plug and Play.

Plug and Play ADGM kicked off their first Fintech accelerator programme in Q3 of 2018, supporting five major financial institutions in achieving their innovation objectives on a global scale, as well as strengthening their competitive advantage within the financial sector.

Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO of the Registration Authority of ADGM, said, “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 startups and innovators from the tourism and key industrial sectors.

The programme will commence in Q3 of 2019, with the first batch of selected startups residing at ADGM.


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