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UAE’s homegrown talent can now have the chance to setup presence in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), one of the region’s leading financial hub, as well as center for lifestyle, arts and culture. As part of aligning with UAE’s vision to leverage prospective human capital, and its aim to support SMEs by providing a platform for their ventures to flourish, DIFC has launched a nationwide competition to attract homegrown brands and join Gate Avenue at DIFC. Open to UAE nationals and residents, the competition is seeking entrepreneurs and startups in the fashion, homeware, jewelry and lifestyle concepts sector.

Contestants can submit new or existing brands to have the opportunity to showcase their concepts in kiosk or within a collective retail space called the Design Emporium, which is in the South Zone of Gate Avenue at DIFC. Winners would get a discounted registration fee of US$1,000 for the first three years, supplemented with a 50% discount on the lease fee, plus be able to position themselves in one of the city’s financial hub center and showcase local creativity amongst international and regional brand entities. The competition kicks off from February 26, 2018 to April 8, 2018, followed by the announcement of five winners on May 1, 2018.

DIFC Authority CEO Arif Amiri comments that the initiative is part of their priority to empower talent in the UAE and it is merely the beginning to seeing more promising concepts in the DIFC, “Through this competition, we aim to attract inspiring local brands to enrich the retail and lifestyle offering at Gate Avenue and showcase creativity to DIFC’s growing community. The competition is only one element of our greater promise to support the development of human capital in the region.”

If you’re interested, register on the website. Applications open on February 26, 2018.

Related: Calling Fintech Entrepreneurs: DIFC And Accenture Launch FinTech Hive In The UAE