Arabic version is being worked on and will be ready soon

Oct 14, 2014

“Startup Weekend” global competition launches in Al Ain, UAE on October 30 – November 1

October 15, 2014 (Al Ain, UAE) – Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs that come together in one room for a 54-hour-lock-in to share ideas, cultivate concepts, form teams and launch startups. The goal of the weekend is not only to inspire entrepreneurs to realize their dreams, start ventures and become future leaders, but it is also for youth and successful entrepreneurs to foster ongoing relationships with one another, as well as to connect and engage with the global Startup Weekend’s network that reaches over 45,000 alumni members in over 200+ cities.

The Startup Weekend, a non-profit organization headquartered in Seattle, Washington (USA), aims to inspire, educate and empower individuals, teams and communities. The Startup Weekend event, set to be held on October 30th-November 1st in Al Ain, will bring together the UAE’s and the region’s most powerful and successful businessmen and businesswomen to serve as Startup Weekend judges, coaches and speakers.

This year’s judges include: Mona Ataya, CEO and founder of MumzWorld; Samer Choucair, VP at Crescent Enterprises; Abdulsalam Haykal; CEO and Founder of Haykal Media; Serene Fadoul, Manager at Silicon Oasis Founders DSOA; and Salma Kayali, Executive Director at Young Arab Leaders- UAE.

Platinum sponsors for the conference includes the Young Arab Leaders (YAL), an organization that promotes entrepreneurship and quality education regionally, the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, an independent agency of the Abu Dhabi government that provides venture capital and resources for entrepreneurs, and Aramex, the leading global provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions.

Salma Kayali, the Executive Director of YAL in the UAE and lead organizer of the Startup Weekend conference stated, “The Startup Weekend follows the same basic model everywhere. On the first day of the competition, participants get only 60-seconds to pitch their startup ideas. Following feedback, votes and discussions amongst their peers, a few teams form with the top ideas from the group. Then the 54-hour competition kick-offs with the teams creating business models, designing concepts and testing market validation. On the final day of the competition, five judges will vote for the best concept that meets the market’s needs and feasibility. The winners selected will win high-tech devices, financial and marketing mentorship packages, a social media campaign, hosting services and web development tools.” Also organizing the competition with Salma is Shaima BinTaliah, Khalifa Fund representative, Shaima Ghafoor, Girls in Tech representative and Manager at Yahoo!, and Mariam Al Hallami, Senior Officer at Khalifa Fund.

Partners and sponsors companies for the Startup Weekend event include: Silicon Oasis Founders, Microsoft, TBWA/RAAD, In5, Google, Oasis500, Wamda, Eventrize, Ayman, Rational Move,, Car Pool Arabia, Potential and many others. Muna Al Gurg, Director of Retail at Al Gurg Group and a Young Arab Leaders Chairperson, mentioned at a press conference, “On behalf of the Young Arab Leaders and the other Startup Weekend judges, we are very grateful to all our partners and sponsors who graciously donated to the event. Because of them, we were able to make the 54-hour competition possible.”

To register for the Startup Weekend in Al Ain, register at:

About Startup Weekend:

Startup Weekend Dubai 2013 is an intense 54-hour event where local entrepreneurs, developers, designers, marketers, product managers, startup enthusiasts and anyone interested in building a business will come together to share ideas, form teams, and launch a startup. For more information, visit or follow YAL_UAE.

About Young Arab Leaders – UAE Chapter:

Young Arab Leaders (YAL) is an independent, not for-profit organization, founded in 2004 at the World Economic Forum under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The YAL organization aims to build on the capabilities, skills and the power of their regional network of members, who have a track-record of achievements, to develop and grow young Arab talent through mentorship and education programs. Unlocking resources and tools of a regional support network, YAL provides Arab youth several channels to tackle challenges like unemployment and economic barriers. The program empowers youth through various initiatives and workshops to develop their creativity and confidence to enter a culture of entrepreneurship.

YAL Mission:

To enable a positive change in the Arab world through developing and leveraging a strong network of Young Arab Leaders. YAL aims to set up future leaders to act as active community members by positively impacting socio-economic challenges in their community and region.

About Khalifa Fund:

The Khalifa Fund was created as an independent agency of the government of Abu Dhabi, now with a capital of Two Billion Dirhams to satisfy the needs and requirements of entrepreneurs. The Fund provides a comprehensive program to expand their business activity, within the context of the efforts which the Fund exerts to provide an appropriate business enabling environment and to enhance the capabilities of potential entrepreneurs.

Media contact information:

Jennifer Mapa
Project Coordinator
Young Arab Leaders- UAE