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Winners of Abu Dhabi Leisure Entrepreneur Competition Announced

Final stage of ‘Rowad Al Seyaha’, run by TCA Abu Dhabi and Khalifa Fund, reveals top SME leisure projects to help bolster tourism in the capital


13 March 2016, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E: The winner of this year’s Rowad Al Seyaha, an Abu Dhabi-based competition for aspiring Emirati entrepreneurs, has been revealed after finalists pitched their leisure project ideas to a panel of expert judges.


Entrepreneurs Mohamed Saleh and Ahmed Ali, with their idea to build Abu Dhabi’s first ‘laser maze’ which they named Weez, was declared the overall winner, with second prize going to Sultan Al Zaabi for his giant chessboard idea, and third prize going to Dr. Ghada Al Ameri for her open-air cinema idea.


The Rowad Al Seyaha initiative, driven by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) in partnership with the Khalifa Fund, was launched in December last year, and offered Emirati entrepreneurs, both experienced and aspiring, the chance to develop their ideas for potential leisure business start-ups and help enrich the Abu Dhabi experience for residents and visitors alike.


The programme, which started on 9 January and finished on 13 February, consisted of six workshops where the shortlisted participants underwent an intense coaching programme designed to help them develop their project idea in to a tangible product.


“During the last six weeks we have learned a lot of things that have shaped our talents and made us offer our idea creatively,” said Saleh. “This programme demonstrates the interest of the Government of Abu Dhabi in supporting landmark projects “Receiving first place was the result of the endless support and continuous improvement until the last moment.”


The winning project now stands to receive unprecedented  support from TCA Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Fund, Abu Dhabi Municipality, Department of Economic Development, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and Emirates Foundation  to help drive Saleh and Ali’s idea forward to become reality.

Saleh and Ali will also receive help from consultancy service Cultural Engineering, who are experts in the field of entrepreneurship in the UAE.


“The standard of the competitors for this year’s ‘Rowad Al Seyaha’ was very impressive, and we hope their involvement in the month-long coaching programme with our industry experts proved to be helpful to them in developing their initial ideas into viable business plans,” said Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director, Tourism, TCA Abu Dhabi.


“All the participants should be incredibly proud, not only of their own work, but also that their inspiration and diligence could also benefit the entire emirate as a whole.


“TCA Abu Dhabi itself is proud to continually contribute to the SME sector and of its dedication to offer support and direction to Emirati entrepreneurs and encourage them to work hard in order to efficiently approach the public sector with their individual projects.


“We’d also like to thank our government partners in this project; Khalifa Fund, the Department of Economic Development, Abu Dhabi Municipality, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and Emirates Foundation.”


The competition, which was only open to UAE nationals, required ideas with global appeal as well as a local flavour, ideally showcasing the strong cultural heritage of Abu Dhabi as well as being practical enough to engage with residents and visitors alike. The project was required also utilise one or both of either the Corniche and/or the Eastern Mangroves area.


For more information on the competition please visit:

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