Dubai: For years, airlines have been mining the personal data of their passengers so that they can improve the on-board experience. Today, it is a common sight to be greeted by a flight attendant with a tablet in hand. That tablet can tell the flight attendant when a passenger last travelled with the airline; whether they have any food allergies and maybe even a bit more if the passenger is a frequent flyer. But in an industry that is becoming increasingly competitive, airlines want to be able to create a more personal experience by using big data. Imagine an airline being able to pitch passengers their favourite hotel when the flight is booked or arranging for a favourite meal to be on-board without any direct communication between the airline and passenger.
Most people would agree that air travel is, at best, a drag, featuring lengthy check-in queues, laborious security processes and slow boarding systems. Michael Ibbitson, executive vice president for technology and infrastructure at Dubai Airports, argues that it doesn't have to be this way. As IT chief for two of the world's most high-tech airports, Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC), Ibbitson has spent the past three years building the foundations for a digitally-enabled transformation of air travel. He's now ready to start turning his vision into reality – and paints a picture of what his airport of the future might look like. "When you arrive at the airport, the bag drop process is quick and simple because you literally just put your bag on the conveyor, put a tag on it and send it on its way," he says.
Open to seed stage AI and Internet of Things (IoT) startups from the UAE and around the globe, the AI Venture Launchpad is a 10-day sprint accelerator that helps participants develop a scalable, repeatable, and capital efficient venture. Teams disrupting industries in financial technology (FinTech), insurance technology (InsurTech), regulatory technology (RegTech), airport operations, predictive maintenance, fuel efficiency, and enterprise solutions through AI with Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning, Predictive Analytics, Search, and Data Analytics are encouraged to apply. This accelerator is an opportunity for global startups to enter the UAE market and attract potential investments from key players in the region. Launching on September 30, the program is held in partnership with Etihad Aviation Group, a diversified global aviation and travel group comprising of five business divisions – Etihad Airways, Etihad Airways Engineering, Etihad Airport Services, Hala Group and Airline Equity Partners; UAE Exchange, the leading global Money Transfer, Foreign Exchange and payment solutions brand; and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi. The Artificial Intelligence Venture Launchpad will comprise a series of training and mentorship sessions, investor roundtables, pitches, interviews, local customer discovery, and validation activities.
StartAD, the innovation and entrepreneurship platform anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, has opened applications for its inaugural Artificial Intelligence (AI) Venture Launchpad. Open to seed stage AI and Internet of Things (IoT) startups from the UAE and around the globe, the AI Venture Launchpad is a 10-day sprint accelerator that helps participants develop a scalable, repeatable and capital efficient venture. Teams disrupting industries in financial technology, insurance technology, regulatory technology, airport operations, predictive maintenance, fuel efficiency and enterprise solutions through AI with natural language processing, machine learning, predictive analytics, search and data analytics are encouraged to apply. This accelerator is an opportunity for global startups to enter the UAE market and attract potential investments from key players in the region. Applications close on August 30.
Large and Luxurious has become a way of life for the city of impeccable architecture and style – Dubai. Apart from being the largest among UAE cities, it houses the world's tallest building, biggest natural flower garden, the most massive mall, world's heaviest Gold Ring, extensive artificial islands, and the planet's most luxurious 7-star hotel. Looking at the huge strides made by Dubai's aviation industry in the past decade, the list is bound to grow. With the Dubai International Airport transporting roughly 84 million passengers in 2016 – a rapid 7.2% increase since 2015, it clinched the title of being the world's largest airports by international passenger traffic and the third largest in terms of freight and cargo. Dubai International Airport is now a key contributor to the city's economy occupying 27% of the GDP and 21% of Dubai's employment.