Dubai: Dubai World Hospitality Championship (DWHC) announced on Monday the launch of a business incubator for winners of the innovative and homemade products category of the championship’s Emirati competition.

The initiative’s aim is to develop the participation of Emiratis in the UAE hospitality sector. Neither the timing of the incubator launch nor its location have been announced.

“We are confident our proactive initiative will serve as a catalyst to profile the UAE hospitality sector as an attractive career option to Emirati nationals,” Ahmad Al Falahi, president of DWHC told reporters at a press conference.

The championship, a culinary event, covers the Emirati, international, and hospitality sector competitions, and will see international cooking teams from 12 countries, as well as Emirati based chefs and restaurants.

The incubator is expected to be launched in collaboration with Dubai SME, Aswaaq, Union Cooperative Society and Dubai Municipality. It will offer entrepreneurs services, training and mentorship.

Meanwhile, Aswaaq and Union Cooperative Society will retail the winners’ dishes that are made in the incubation centre.

Suhail Al Bastaki, media and communications manager at Union Cooperative Society, said that their produce can also be displayed in kiosks in malls. Also, winners will be registered for professional certification.

Entrepreneurs can stay at the facility for “a maximum of a year or two,” Abdul Basit Al Janahi, CEO of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment of SME Development, told Gulf News.

“If this incubation works, I think we can work with the organisers to expand it,” Al Janahi continued. He said that entrepreneurs that have not participated at the competition may join if the centre expands and has enough space.

According to Al Janahi, “between 30 and 40 per cent” of entrepreneurs that approach the establishment want to open a hospitality-related business, such as cafes and restaurants.

The hospitality sector is growing at a rate of 16.9 per cent per year, according to a statement by DWHC.

DWHC 2013 will be held from November 16 to 18 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.