5 MIN READIQI Dubai Weekly Recap 28th April – 4th May

Smart Dubai announces winners of the 2nd Smart Dubai Blockchain Challenge

The Smart Dubai Office (SDO) has recently announced the winners of this year’s global Blockchain Challenge. The announcement was made at the Blockchain Challenge Presentation and Awarding Ceremony, which took place at the Future Blockchain Summit.

This year’s Blockchain Challenge attracted 200 applications from companies in 85 cities across 44 countries. The contest aims to identify the most promising blockchain solutions from the private sector that can assist in the implementation of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy.

Announced in October 2016 by SDO and the Dubai Future Foundation, the Dubai Blockchain strategy has the objective of transforming Dubai into the first Government in the world to execute all applicable transactions on the Blockchain by 2020.

Among the 17 finalists, Ireland’s AID Tech came in first, followed by the UAE’s Smart Crowd and the USA’s Codex. The top 3 winners will receive a total of US$45,000 for their innovation blockchain solutions presented in the challenge, supporting the strategy that aims to make Dubai the first blockchain-powered city within two years. The top 3 winners will also have the opportunity to network with government stakeholders and potentially develop their ideas further in Dubai.

The 17 selected proposals covered 16 industries. The finalists also went through training by a technology startup organisation, followed by the pitching of their concepts to an audience of government leaders, investors and experts from private and public institutions.

“The global Blockchain Challenge is an important empowerment activity that harnesses the entrepreneurship skills of the private sector achieve Dubai’s ambition of being an industry leader in Blockchain and establishing a Blockchain run ecosystem in the city,” said Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of SDO.

According to Mr Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government, startup challenges such as the Smart Dubai Blockchain Challenge is essential to propel the growth of the blockchain environment in Dubai.

Source: Open Gov

MonopolyKings launch Dubai real estate analytics platform

MonopolyKings is the first real estate analytics platform that is built to empower home buyers, sellers and investors in Dubai. The startup venture helps you do your own research and generate a comprehensive price analysis report for any apartment in the Dubai real estate market.

The platform enables you to instantly compare what similar properties have been sold or leased for; view a market valuation estimate of the property itself; see how prices, rents and transaction volumes have performed in the community you are interested in; and project your property’s cash flow into the future to evaluate your return on investment.

“In a market as active as Dubai’s, there is a need for genuine transparent data on real estate and property,” said Adel El-Mawla, CEO and Co-Founder.

“Anyone in real estate can rely on our platform to provide them with up to date, free and objective recommendations. Recently we started curating specific investment opportunities that we believe are priced attractively and that offer investors decent rental yields,” added Marwan Sarieddine, CTO and Co-Founder.

Source: Khaleej Times

Kleindienst Group seeks approval for Dh2.5bn ‘Floating Venice’ resort in Dubai

Austrian property developer Kleindienst Group is awaiting approval from the Dubai Government to build a Dh2.5 billion “Floating Venice” resort in the Arabian Gulf, as it reaches 50 per cent of sales of its luxury villas called “Floating Seahorses” at The World Islands, the group’s founder said.

“We aim to complete Floating Venice prior to Expo 2020 Dubai, but there are lessons to learn,” Josef Kleindienst, chairman of Kleindienst Group, told The National at Cityscape Abu Dhabi last week.

“We are the first to build [something like this] and we need to get it right. I can’t build something that’s not excellent,” he said.

Kleindienst Group is building a cluster of six islands at the manmade archipelago 4 kilometres off the coast of Dubai, as part of its Heart of Europe masterplan. This year it expects to hand over three islands – Sweden, Germany and St Petersburg with an investment value of Dh15bn – and the others in 2019 and 2020.

The company said last September it would build the world’s first underwater luxury resort at The World, modelled on Italy’s canal-strewn city Venice.
The Floating Venice resort will feature 12 hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities split over four decks, one of which will be underwater. The developer said it would start construction in the first quarter of 2018, but Mr Kleindienst told The National, the company is awaiting planning approval from the Dubai Government.

“This is a project the likes of which has never been done before in the UAE so it is taking some time,” Mr Kleindienst said and noted that 112 no-objection certificates have been secured to progress other components of The World Islands masterplan unveiled in 2003. “It’s much more complex to build on these islands than anywhere else.”

There has previously been some confusion – particularly around the group’s Floating Seahorse villas, which are marketed as the world’s “first luxury underwater living experience” – over which authority is responsible for Kleindienst’s marine-focused developments.

In the meantime, it is pressing ahead with factory construction of a ‘test-section’ of the Venice structure to prove it floats and hopes to assemble this in situ by the end of 2018. It is also in talks with around 10 European hotel operators.

Source: N Business

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