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Dubai Airports invests in guest experience and reveals winner of the Dubai Airshow VISTA Innovation Challenge



Dubai Airports, operator of Dubai International (DXB), the world’s biggest international hub, has announced ROVAR as the winner of its guest experience innovator challenge hosted at VISTA at Dubai Airshow 2023. 

ROVAR, a UK-based start-up, won the challenge for its future-focused smart guide, using augmented and virtual reality to enhance the guest experience. The guide offers helpful information throughout the traveller’s journey and allows exploration of the airport pre-departure using augmented reality through smartphone technology.

The judging panel, led by Dubai Airports’ SVP of Terminal Operations Essa Al Shamsi, Director of Corporate Planning Kate Ganley, Vice President of Design Neil Kee, and Senior Manager of Corporate Strategy Shamoil Tayabji, played a crucial role in evaluating the finalists’ innovations and guided the selection of ROVAR’s smart guide solution. Commenting on the VISTA challenge, Essa Al Shamsi, SVP of Terminal Operations at Dubai Airports, said: “We are thrilled to announce ROVAR the winner of our guest experience innovator challenge. Their solution aligns with our vision to enhance the guest experience and embodies the forward-thinking that our industry needs. This victory is a milestone for ROVAR and we look forward to seeing their idea take flight”.

The smart guide homepage synchronises with the guest’s GPS, highlighting services and facilities in real-time for an enhanced brand experience at the airport. Integrated virtual wayfinding ensures a personalised journey, with the added benefit of in-flight content control through the smartphone. ROVAR’s solution promises to elevate the guest experience at DXB through AR, wayfinding and personalised retail opportunities.

VISTA, Dubai Airshow’s dedicated start-up event, served as a dynamic platform for innovators, creators, and disruptors within the aerospace industry and facilitated a connection between start-ups and investors. This year’s VISTA challenge invited five finalists to present their ideas to enhance the guest experience for travellers transiting through DXB. Each finalist had a three-minute window to showcase their project, followed by an interactive Q&A session with a panel of judges comprising influential decision-makers from the aviation industry.

Dubai Airports has already implemented a queue monitoring sensor system and invested in self-service technologies with Emirates to enhance customer experience and operational efficiency. Collaborating with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) and other strategic partners, a seamless biometric path from check-in to boarding was developed. Furthermore, a passenger flow module predicts demand and plans required manpower resources, ensuring secure, fast, and efficient operations from kerb to boarding gates.



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