2023 UNWTO Women in Tech Startup Competition

Deadline: July 1, 2023.

According to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), women make up most of the tourist workforce in major parts of the world. UNWTO is always committed to gender equality, as mandated in Sustainable Development Goal 5, referring to women empowerment by supporting women’s rights and improving their participation in the business realm. UNWTO’s global report on tourism found that more than 54% of people employed in the tourism are women, while in the Arab world, women represent 8% of the regional tourist workforce. UNWTO is continuously seizing opportunities to highlight the role of women in the tourism sector, and particularly Arab women.

The UNWTO Women in Tech Startup Competition: Middle East, calls for women entrepreneurs from all over the world and based in the Arab region willing to grow their tech startup in the tourism industry, and provide sustainable solutions to the sector.


  • Startups must be led, owned or managed by women in the Middle East, residing in any of the following countries: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.
  • Be an Idea Stage, Early Stage or Series A startups with a minimum viable product or idea that is ready to be developed and funded.
  • Have a full-time team, a tested pilot and business plan.
  • Be scalable with potential for international growth.


The winners of Women in Tech Startup Competition Middle East will gain from the following benefits:

  • Invitation to join UNWTO Innovation Network, with access to more than 447 investors, 47 incubators, 1274 corporations and representatives from governments, academia and media from all over the world. 
  • Opportunity to participate and pitch in the UNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure high-level event, that will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on 27 September for the celebration of International Tourism Day.
  • Visibility on all UNWTO platforms and social media networks, with a global reach.
  • Mentorship programs with international leaders in the field of innovation.
  • Access to potential seed funding, investments, and partnership opportunities with consultancies, accelerators and incubators.
  • Scholarships for UNWTO Tourism Online Academy, which has more than 20.000 alumni, and offers courses in different languages, including Arabic, produced in partnership with international top Universities all over the world.
  • Prospective opportunities to talk as guest keynote speakers and panelists at international forums.


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