You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Felicitates The Winners Of The Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy's App Olympics Competition The competing ideas had been categorized into four separate areas: Best Youth-Made App, Best Social Impact App, Most Innovative App, and Best Advanced App.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, with the winners of the App Olympics competition

On February 29, 2024, the App Olympics competition, an initiative launched by the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, concluded with an awards ceremony held at the Museum of the Future in Dubai.

Winners were selected across four different categories, with one of them also being being awarded the title of "Dubai's App of the Year." The ceremony was held in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, who also handed out the awards.

Launched in October 2023 as part of the Create Apps in Dubai initiative that was kicked off in March by Sheikh Hamdan, the App Olympics was a six-month-long competition that saw over 1,100 applications, from which 247 ideas were then selected for its first phase. International participants from 64 countries accounted for 30% of the entries submitted, while the remaining 70% of entries were from UAE nationals and residents.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, with the jury at the App Olympics finals. Source: Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy

The awards ceremony in February 2024 thus marked the competition's final stage, which saw the final 12 participants pitching their ideas to a panel of judges comprising the following industry experts and venture capitalists: Arnav Danthi, Principal VC, NUWA Capital; Begoña Águeda C. De Albornoz, Corporate Sustainability Lead Middle East, Accenture; Khalil Alami, Founder and Chief Executive, Telr; Rohan Patel, Senior Vice President of Engineering, Builder AI; and Sharif Elbadawi, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Future District Fund.

The participants of the App Olympics competed for prizes in four separate categories, which included Best Youth-Made App, Best Social Impact App, Most Innovative App, and Best Advanced App.

The winner in the Best Youth-Made App category was Emudy, a platform that assists students in preparing for the Emirates Standardized Test (emSAT)- a national system of standardized computer-based tests in the UAE to determine entry into universities as well as scholarship applications.

The award for the Best Social Impact App was given to The Intern, an app that connects college students with relevant internships and also offers financial management and educational resources.

The winner in the Most Innovative App category was Bareeq, an app that connects users with homemade products from within their communities.

And finally, the winner of the Best Advanced App title was Takeem, an app that reduces the time, cost, and other stresses that come with long-term renting of properties.

Emudy, the winner of The Best Youth-Made App category, as well as the winner of the "Dubai's App Of The Year" title. Source: Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy

Sheikh Hamdan presented awards to each of the four winners, following which -based off the votes from all attendees at the event- Emudy was crowned Dubai's App of the Year as well.

All the winning apps received a prize worth US$150,000 each, which includes a package of services provided by Builder AI, a UAE-based global company specializing in smart application software development.

The winners will also receive support from the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy in launching their startups, including assistance with licensing and banking services and help in identifying potential partners and customers.

The Intern, winner of the Best Social Impact App category. Source: Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy

In a statement released on his official X account, Sheikh Hamdan lauded the innovative ideas that were on display during the App Olympics -an initiative he termed as "a cornerstone of the 'Create Apps in Dubai' initiative"- and also announced the launch of a global edition of the competition as well.

"Hosted by the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, this competition drew 1100 entries, showcasing the exceptional tech talent available in the UAE and from around the globe," he said. "Building on this success, we are pleased to announce the launch of a global edition of the App Olympics. This new chapter invites innovators worldwide to join us in contributing to Dubai's remarkable digital transformation journey."

Bareeq, winner of the Most Innovative App category. Source: Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy

In a separate statement, Sheikh Hamdan provided more information on the global edition of the App Olympics, which will seek to expand the opportunities for innovators and developers of smart applications from around the world.

"Dubai has an ambitious vision and is taking proactive steps to enhance its position as a global hub for technology innovation," he said. "The city has created an exceptional platform for attracting digital talent from around the world. Guided by the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the city serves as an inspiring role model for nurturing ideas and innovations that shape the future."

"Empowering the technology sector is an integral part of efforts to achieve the goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to establish Dubai as one of the world's top three cities," he continued. "The extensive participation of innovators and digital creatives from around the world in the App Olympics reflects Dubai's stature as a global hub for research, innovation, and opportunity and a leading city that offers sustainable growth and a high quality of life."

Takeem, winner of the Best Advanced App category. Source: Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy

The App Olympics' award ceremony was also attended by H.E. Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, Ahmed bin Byat, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO, Dubai Chambers, Khalfan Belhoul, CEO, Dubai Future Foundation, Saeed Al Gergawi, Vice President, Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, and several other officials and dignitaries from the public and private sectors.

Related: Dubai Chamber Of Digital Economy Releases A Free Guide For Entrepreneurs Who Want To Launch Businesses In Dubai
Side Hustle

This Dad Started a Side Hustle to Save for His Daughter's College Fund — Then It Earned $1 Million and Caught Apple's Attention

In 2015, Greg Kerr, now owner of Alchemy Merch, was working as musician when he noticed a lucrative opportunity.

Business News

Side Hustles Are Soaring as Entrepreneurs Start Businesses Working Part- or Full-Time Elsewhere, According to a New Report

The younger the entrepreneur, the more likely they were to start a business as a side hustle.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Living

What's the Burnt Toast Theory? A Psychologist Explains the Mindset Hack That Can Make You Happier and More Successful.

Dr. Nadia Teymoorian, a psychologist at Moment of Clarity Health Center, breaks down the benefits.

Side Hustle

This Insurance Agent Started a Side Hustle Inspired By Nostalgia for His Home State — Now It Earns Nearly $40,000 a Month

After moving to New York City, Danny Trejo started a business to stay in touch with his roots — literally.

Finance

The Recap: Leaders In Fintech Awards 2023

The Leaders in Fintech Awards 2023 was staged by Entrepreneur Middle East with the support of in5, Idealz One, Numei Real Estate and Fluidmeet.