Home » Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy’s App Olympics competition receives over 1,100 entries

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy’s App Olympics competition receives over 1,100 entries

by Madaline Dunn

The Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, one of three chambers operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers, has shared that its App Olympics programme received more than 1,100 applications to participate.

The programme was launched last year as part of the ‘Create Apps in Dubai’Dubai’ initiative announced by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai.

Further, the App Olympics is part of the chamber’s efforts to support the local digital ecosystem, and accelerate the emirate’s transformation into one of the leading digital economies globally in line with the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33).

Encouraging digital talent to submit their ideas for mobile applications, the program sees participants supported by experts in the field and given the opportunity to win prizes to accelerate their businesses’ growth during the closing ceremony, 

The ceremony will be hosted at the Museum of the Future in February.

It was shared that the App Olympics has gathered international participants from 64 countries, accounting for 31 per cent of applications. 

Education-focused apps accounted for the largest share of ideas submitted, followed by healthcare, sustainability, and logistics. 

Other entries received spanned diverse sectors, including financial services, tourism, travel, and food and beverage services.

Following a thorough evaluation of the ideas submitted, 247 entrants were selected to participate in the App Olympics and compete during the qualifying stages, which took place over six months. 

Competitors participated in 90 training courses on topics related to mobile application development, as well as strategies to transform their initial ideas into working business models.

The programme’s first phase concluded in January when qualifying ideas advanced to the second stage of the competition, which includes training and guidance on topics including building prototypes and pitching app ideas. 

A total of 24 participants will progress to the semi-final stage in February, after which 12 ideas will be shortlisted to compete in the final.

During the awards ceremony, the selected participants will compete in the award’s four categories: 

  • Best App of the Year – Advanced Level, 
  • Best Youth-Made App, 
  • Most Innovative App, and 
  • Social Impact. 

The ideas will be evaluated by a panel of judges featuring industry experts representing areas including banking, venture capital, government, and the private sector.

The four winners will each be awarded a prize worth US$ 150,000 consisting of a comprehensive package of services delivered in cooperation with an international app development software company. 

Each winner will also receive integrated support from the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy to launch their ideas as promising startups, including assistance with licensing and banking processes and identifying potential partners and customers.

Saeed Al Gergawi, Vice President of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, commented: “The high levels of local and international participation reflect the importance of this initiative as an opportunity for innovators in the field of app development to transform their ideas into digital startups using the emirate as a launchpad. The success of the App Olympics further strengthens Dubai’s position as a leading platform for creative minds and a magnet for pioneers from across the globe. Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy remains committed to supporting entrepreneurs and businesses in bringing their ideas to life and accelerating the growth of Dubai’s Digital Economy.”

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