Abu Dhabi Image Credit: File photo

Abu Dhabi: Plug and Play, the largest start up accelerator in the world is collaborating with Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) as well as Etihad Airways and the Department of Culture and Tourism to boost start up ecosystem in the UAE in the travel and hospitality sector.

“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 during a press conference in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

“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.”

The accelerator programme will commence in the third quarter of this year with the first batch of selected start-ups beginning their work from ADGM office in Al Maryah Island. Plug and Play is aiming to attract start-up firms from across the region as well as from other parts of the world.

The development comes as Abu Dhabi and other emirates take new measures to boost tourism sector in the country. Currently, the tourism and hospitality sector accounts for 5.4 per cent of the UAE’a GDP and is expected to maintain this share over the next ten years.

In addition, the Mena region as a whole is expected to receive over 195 million tourists by 2030 with new hotel and leisure projects currently under development to meet this demand.

“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.

The latest collaboration follows the recent announcement by Mubadala Investment Company that it will work with international funds, inviting them to invest in Abu Dhabi to benefit the start-up industry in the capital.

Plug and Play’s travel and hospitality innovation platform was founded in 2016, focused on discovering, supporting and scaling disruptive technologies that are reshaping the future of travel.

The California based firm is currently collaborating with a number of airlines including Star Alliance, Singapore Airlines and Delta Airlines, among others to boost innovation in the travel sector.