Region’s First Islamic Lifestyle Mini Bootcamp Concludes on Positive Note

A diverse group of entrepreneurs posing for a Dtec event.
  • Ten selected startups hosted at Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus
  • Participants receive achievement certificates on last day of program

Dubai-UAE: 09th December, 2017 – The region’s first Islamic Lifestyle Mini Bootcamp, an intensive five-day program that took place at the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), a wholly owned technology incubator by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and the largest of its kind in the Middle East, concluded its activities at Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park.

Commending the participants’ hard work and enthusiasm, organizers, including Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), Dubai Culture (DC) and Rainmaking Innovation, distributed achievement certificates to representatives from each of the 10 selected startups, namely Khair Keys, Qirtas, Islamic GPS, Salaty, Innoras, Happy Brain Education, Bismillah Babies, The Muslim Class, The AJALA Project, and Brewing Potions, at a special ceremony hosted on the last day of the program.

The selected startups operate within various sectors including media, design, ecommerce, hardware, travel, education, health, food, entertainment, art, and fashion. The Islamic Lifestyle Mini Bootcamp targeted startups in the Islamic Arts & Culture, Islamic Architecture & Design, Family-Friendly & Halal Tourism, Modest Fashion, as well as Entertainment, Communication and Media domains.

On the inaugural day of the bootcamp, Dubai Culture, the official cultural partner of the initiative accompanied the 10 startups from different parts of the world on a familiarization tour of Old Dubai and the Shindagha district. On day two, DIEDC hosted a customized Islamic Lifestyle IndustryConnect networking event at the Etihad Museum that covered the diverse sectors of the Islamic lifestyle industry. The interactive session allowed the finalist startups, to network with local and international entrepreneurs, businesses, creatives, designers, and app developers from more than four countries and three continents.

Following the engagement, DIEDC representatives heard from the startups what their biggest challenges were and guided them in the best ways to overcome obstacles and ultimately enhance the local Islamic lifestyle ecosystem and its offering. Attendees also gained first-hand insights into the findings of Dubai Culture’s recently-launched Global Perspectives on the Islamic Creative Economy Report.

Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer of DIEDC, said: “This training marks our first formal step in enhancing the talent and creativity of our youth in the Islamic lifestyle sector. In line with encouraging entrepreneurship, a key objective of DIEDC’s refreshed strategy and the National Agenda of the UAE Vision 2021, the camp contributes to achieving the vision of our wise leadership of transforming Dubai into the global capital of Islamic economy. Following the high uptake for this inaugural event, we are committed to continue developing innovative initiatives that foster the culture of Islamic economy and enhance the contributions of the SME sector.”
For his part, Bader Buhannad, Executive Vice President of Strategy, Business Services and Risk Management at DSOA, said: “As part of our relentless commitment to supporting entrepreneurship, we aim to provide an enabling ecosystem to nurture niche startups that play an important role in driving the growth of the Islamic economy. We congratulate all 10 finalists for completing this rigorous week of education and training. We are confident they will benefit from the knowledge gained at the first-of-its-kind Islamic lifestyle mini bootcamp and enhance their business strategy.”

Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General of Dubai Culture, said: “We are delighted to support the Islamic Lifestyle Mini Bootcamp as the cultural partner, allowing us to demonstrate our commitment to establishing Dubai as the global capital of the Islamic economy, in line with the vision of our wise leadership. As mentioned in our latest book – ‘Global Perspectives on the Islamic Creative Economy’ – the Islamic lifestyle sector is a major part of our government’s economic diversification strategy, and contributes to achieving the Dubai Plan 2021. We were proud to host the 10 finalist start-ups and some of the region’s leading Islamic lifestyle experts at the Etihad Museum, reflecting our mandate to nurture local talent and drive the creative economy, while also reinforcing the museum’s position as a vital hub for education, culture and exchange of knowledge.”

During the following three days of the bootcamp, Dtec hosted a series of interactive and hands-on training sessions for the finalist startups on the main pillars of accelerating a business. Concluding the program with an ‘Industry Day’, two experts and networking partners of DIEDC – Peter Gould, Design Executive Officer at Zileej, and Mustafa Fahour, CEO of Habtoor Leighton Group and founder of the Islamic Museum of Australia – discussed sector-specific topics in relation to Islamic lifestyle.

As winner of the 2015 Islamic Economy Award in the Islamic Art category, Peter Gould led a discussion on branding, design, and innovation within the Islamic economy. Gould noted that he was truly inspired to be part of a kindred and like-minded community of founders and mentors and expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to share his story and encourage aspiring Muslim entrepreneurs.

Through his session, Mustafa Fahour aimed to fuel up-and-coming entrepreneurs with inspiration and dedication to follow through on their vision. Recalling how he quit his C-level role in the banking industry to open a museum without the appropriate background in the arts sector, he highlighted the value of passion, persistence, and faith in the pursuit of success.

Hamad Al Shamsi, founder of Khair Keys, expressed satisfaction with his participation in the Islamic Lifestyle Mini Bootcamp. He appreciated the opportunity to exchange views and best-in-class practices with industry experts and noted that in addition to exploring various Islamic economy-related subjects, the discussions highlighted core aspects of entrepreneurship such as monetization that are usually not dealt with clearly or in-depth.