Dubai Appeals to Startup Ecosystem for Blockchain Immigration Solution

Bailey Reutzel
Dec 23, 2016 at 14:15 UTC
Updated Dec 23, 2016 at 21:58 UTC

Dubai’s immigration agency is seeking a blockchain startup to develop a system that will cut illegal residency in the country.

As part of the second round of The Dubai Future Accelerator, the largest government-supported accelerator, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs has put out a call for blockchain companies to apply to take the effort forward.

The agency is hoping to reduce illegal resident entry by 50% using an “international blockchain”, according to a 22nd December press release.

Other government agencies in Dubai are also looking for technology startups as part of the accelerator program. Some of the calls seem ripe for blockchain’s publicized use cases.

For instance, the Department of Economic Development wants to use automated systems to cut governmental red tape by 20% – more specifically reducing the processing time for receiving, renewing and modifying trade licenses.

And the Dubai Health Authority is looking to improve patient self-management of health data, a use case for blockchain that was talked about during the Distributed Health conference recently.

‘Better future’

The Dubai Future Accelerator takes no equity from companies that participate, plus provides flights, accommodation and office space for the nine-week program where startups get to test prototypes with large Dubai enterprises and government entities. The second round starts 12th February.

“By bringing innovative global startups together with government entities in Dubai, the program offers them the potential to materialize their ideas and projects in a forward-thinking city, and play their part in building a better future today,” said Saif Al-Aleeli, CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation in the press release.

Blockchain isn’t the only high-tech application the agencies are hoping to take advantage of. Companies specializing in artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing and drones are also being asked to participate.

Dubai waterfront image via Shutterstock