Burj Khalifa, HTC Vive, and Dubai Future Accelerators collaborate to further business opportunities within VR ecosyste

Burj Khalifa, HTC Vive, and Dubai Future Accelerators collaborate to further business opportunities within VR ecosystem
Global Virtual Reality Challenge Announced for the Next Big VR Burj Khalifa Experience

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – November 21, 2018: As the UAE remains at the forefront of embracing the latest technological trends and advancements in the region, Burj Khalifa is teaming up with HTC Vive and Dubai Future Accelerators—an initiative of Dubai Future Foundation—to further business opportunities within the VR ecosystem across the Middle East and Africa.

As part of the collaboration, VR developers across the MEA region and internationally are invited to participate in a one-of-a-kind competition to build world-class VR content themed around the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower. The VR experience that ultimately wins the competition will also go on Viveport – the leading app library for VR content powered by HTC Vive and accessible to Vive users globally.

Participants will get exclusive access to Burj Khalifa premises and stunning high-definition footage of the building itself. Dubai Future Accelerators will also offer access to an incubator center and fully set-up VR hub situated at Area 2071, as well as office workspaces, throughout the project. HTC Vive is the VR partner for the program, and its latest premium VR system the Vive Pro will be the official VR device for the competition. Furthermore, HTC Vive will assist developers with full tech support, expertise, and mentoring throughout the competition.

H.E. Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation said, “In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai Future Foundation aims to create and environment which encourages and welcomes innovation and creative thinkers to further position Dubai as a hub for innovation and a testbed for emerging technologies. He added that the incubation of the future Dubai accelerators this global competition reflects the role of the Foundation in promoting, embracing and launching innovative initiatives aimed at. He further added, having Dubai Future Accelerators support this initiative and challenge is a testament to our ongoing efforts of attracting global talents and fostering a collaborative ecosystem.

Ramit Harisinghani, VP and head of Middle East & Africa at HTC Vive, commented: “Today VR is being embraced across industries—and at a government level—for its ability to unleash human imagination in entirely new ways. Strategic content and brand partnerships are helping to bring more exciting VR experiences to the mainstream, as is evident in this latest developer competition. We are committed to developing the VR ecosystem and proud to pioneer original platforms for developers to conceptualize, build and commercialize their VR ideas.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Ahmed Al Falasi, Executive Director – Group Operations, Emaar Properties, said: “With the introduction and popularity of the Virtual Reality experience that was unveiled for visitors to At The Top, Burj Khalifa, the world’s highest observation deck, further developing the VR ecosystem will open new opportunities for the region’s leisure sector. By hosting the event in Burj Khalifa, we are underlining our commitment to promoting advanced technologies and driving the spirit of innovation among our talented young people.”

Saeed Al Falasi, Executive Director of Platforms of the Future at Dubai Future Foundation, said: “In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into a global hub for innovation and provide a test bed for emerging technologies, the HTC Vive and Burj Khalifa challenge provides a healthy competition in the VR ecosystem, and engages relevant stakeholders in creating cutting-edge VR experiences. We look forward to working together and creating a next level visitor experience through the use of VR technology and creative VR content.”

The competition will be done in three phases. Participants will first be asked to submit their profile and previous VR content app samples. The second phase will involve a shortlist of competitors who are then challenged to develop a storyboard of their big idea. The competition will conclude by the spring of 2019 in which a final winner will be selected among the competitive submissions and given the chance to bring their vision to life.

Application submission for the competition can be made by individuals and groups from the UAE and internationally at the following link.

– Ends –

About Burj Khalifa
Described as both a ‘Vertical City’ and ‘A Living Wonder,’ Burj Khalifa, developed by Dubai-based Emaar Properties PJSC, is described as a ‘Global Icon’ by the Council on Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat.
Rising gracefully from the desert, Burj Khalifa honours the city with its extraordinary union of art, engineering and meticulous craftsmanship. At 828 metres (2,716.5 ft), the 200 plus storey Burj Khalifa has 160 habitable levels, the most of any building in the world. The tower was inaugurated on January 4, 2010, to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the Accession Day of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum as the Ruler of Dubai.
With a total built-up area of 5.67 million square feet, Burj Khalifa features 1.85 million square feet of residential space and over 300,000 square feet of prime office space. That is in addition to the area occupied by the Armani Hotel Dubai and the Armani Residences.
The tower offers luxurious recreational and leisure facilities including four swimming pools, excluding the pool in the hotel, lounges for home owners and office owners, health and wellness facilities, a public observation deck and At.mosphere, the world’s highest fine dining restaurant on Level 122.

About Dubai Future Accelerators
Dubai Future Accelerators was launched in 2016 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and the Chairman of Dubai Future Foundation under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai.
Dubai Future Accelerators is an intensive 9-week program that pairs the government of Dubai with global companies and start-ups to use the city as a living testbed and co-create the future as well as creating solutions for global challenges of tomorrow.

About HTC VIVE
VIVE is a first-of-its-kind virtual reality platform, built and optimized for room-scale VR and true-to-life interactions. Built on the SteamVR platform, Vive delivering on the promise of VR with game-changing technology and best-in-class content, VIVE has created the strongest ecosystem for VR hardware and software, bringing VR to consumers, developers and enterprises alike. The VIVE ecosystem is built around the best VR hardware in market, supported by VIVE X, a $100 million accelerator for VR and related technology start-ups, Viveport, a global platform and app store with the world’s first VR subscription model that operates in more than 60 countries, and VIVE Studios, its VR content development and publishing initiative. For more information on VIVE, please visit www.vive.com

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