Dubai – MENA Herald: In line with the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into a “Smart City”, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with the Smart Dubai Office launched the Smartpreneur Competition at its head office on Wednesday.

The launch ceremony was attended by H.E. Hisham Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice-Chairman, Dubai Chamber, H.E. Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai Office, Essa Al Zaabi, Senior Vice-President, Institutional Support Sector, Dubai Chamber, as well as a number of upcoming entrepreneurs.

The Smartpreneur Competition is designed with the aim to provide upcoming entrepreneurs the opportunity and inspiration to be part Dubai’s transformation to a global benchmark smart city, supporting the vision of Smart Dubai to make Dubai the happiest city on earth through technology innovation.

In his welcome address, H.E. Hisham Al Shirawi pointed out that Dubai is seeking to be amongst the top cities around the world in offering smart services adding that the competition is an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to think out of the box while supporting the vision of Smart Dubai.

H.E. Al Shirawi also said that the future is bright for those who work hard and innovate in their projects and services offered, adding that innovation and entrepreneurship are the bases on which the future of the business environment and competitiveness rest.

Said H.E. Al Shirawi; “Innovation is the cornerstone of excellence and growth strategy of Dubai and the Chamber’s strategy is to spearhead creativity and innovation in the private sector by providing innovative programmes for the business community as we launch new initiatives to offer excellent services to the customers while strengthening Dubai’s position as the best business destination in the world.”

He lauded the commitment of Tejar Dubai entrepreneurship development programme launched by the Chamber to support young Emirati entrepreneurial talent to enter the world of business with their own commercial projects without hassles and make a success of their business idea.

“The programme is based on three pillars including assessment, development and empower, the entrepreneurship development programme provides aspiring entrepreneurs a wide range of training and tips from experts in the field,” said H.E. Al Shirawi.

Said H.E. Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai Office, “Young entrepreneurs have an essential role to play in our smart city transformation. The new ideas, products and services contributed by these innovative individuals will improve daily life and enhance our position as a global competitive city, establishing Dubai as a leading Smart Economy.

“As the Smart Dubai Office, we are committed to supporting entrepreneurship across all sectors, and welcome programmes such as the Smartpreneur Competition to support and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation from all parties. Working together across all sectors, we can accomplish our smart city vision and contribute to making Dubai the happiest city on earth.”

On his part, Essa Al Zaabi stated that the competition is open to all entrepreneurs based in the UAE whose entries will be judged by a high level of judging team for the innovative ideas that support the Smart Dubai dimension as a total prize of AED 150,000 is up for grabs and will be distributed amongst the three winners in the proportion of 75,000, 50,000 and 25,000.

Al Zaabi further stressed that the ideas have to be developed on one of the following dimensions: smart economy, smart living, smart mobility, smart governance, smart environment, and smart people adding that this competition is committed to the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, which emphasises that entrepreneurship is the shortest route to a bright future.

A panel discussion on Smartpreneurs: Dubai’s engine for future economic prosperity included besides Essa Al Zaabi, Mohammed Abdullah Al Zafeen, Member of the Board of Directors, Smart Dubai Office and Director of IT Department at Dubai Municipality; as well as Magnus Olsson Founder and Managing Director of Careem. The discussion was moderated by Noor Sweid, Managing Partner at Leap Ventures and a board member at Endeavor.