Microsoft and Emirates announced they will set up an Innovation Lab in Dubai to develop new products and services for the travel industry using Microsoft's cutting-edge technologies and tapping on Emirates' expertise and experience in developing IT solutions for the aviation and travel industry. Both companies will invest in the project.
Microsoft will work with Emirates experts in the "Dubai Innovation Lab", which will be amongst the first of its kind for both companies in this field. The lab will enable Emirates' IT division, Mercator, to incubate and develop creative new solutions for airline and travel customers around the world, including Emirates Airline. Mercator's IT solutions are today used by over 50 airlines globally.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates witnessed the signature of the memorandum of understanding outlining the project during a meeting in Dubai.
"Innovation has been a cornerstone of Emirates' success across our businesses. By working with technology leader Microsoft to develop cutting-edge products and services, we are looking to reinforce our commanding position in the travel industry and continue to pioneer new ways to serve our customers better," Sheikh Ahmed said.
The lab will take Microsoft's latest technologies and apply them to the development of new ways of doing things across all parts of the travel and aviation industry - from reservations and check-in to cargo and ground handling systems.
"Emirates Airline has established a powerful reputation as a dynamic, forward-thinking company, and this agreement will strengthen this reputation further," said Charbel Fakhoury, General Manager, Microsoft Gulf. "By adopting these next-generation technologies, the airline is setting an important precedent. The Gulf region has a massive potential to contribute to the global development of technology-driven innovations, and Emirates is leading the way." He added, "Through the establishment of our Innovation Lab, Microsoft and Emirates Airline will demonstrate how technology can play a defining role in enhancing business operations and customer experiences."
Through the innovation lab, Emirates and Microsoft will explore implementation of technologies based on Microsoft software and hardware as well as online services such as the Windows Live platform.