Irish firm ActionPoint wins race to drive UAE motorsport events

15 Feb 2019


Company behind Ireland’s passport renewal system puts motorsport organisers in pole position.

Limerick tech firm ActionPoint has defeated international competition to deliver a key strategic project for the Automobile & Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates (ATCUAE) to create an e-permit system for entry to more than 140 motorsport events across the Middle East.

ATCUAE governs competitive motorsports events including the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 GP, Cross-Country World Cup and World Rally X events. Founded in 1965, it is one of the oldest national organisations in the UAE and is the sole representative of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) in the UAE.

‘With over 140 events running each year in the UAE, the new system will make a significant impact on their organisational resourcing and overall efficiencies’

ATCUAE president Dr Mohammed Ben Sulayem, himself a 14-times Middle East rally champion, confirmed that once the system is working in the UAE, he plans to roll out e-permits across the Middle East and north Africa region, ideally in the next 12 months. The MENA region of the FIA covers 20 national sporting authorities.

“The decision to select ActionPoint was influenced by their successful delivery of the award-winning online passport renewal system on behalf of Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland’s growing international reputation as the Silicon Valley of Europe and ActionPoint’s strong track record in the sports industry,” Sulayem said.

From Ireland’s mid-west to the Arabian Middle East

Picture of three men, one in the middle dressed in formal Arab atire, with two men on right shaking hands.

From left: Simon Kennedy, ActionPoint; Dr Mohammed Ben Sulayem, ATCUAE; and John Savage, ActionPoint. Image: ActionPoint

Before any motorsport event is organised within the UAE, a permit must be granted by the ATCUAE.

The application process has to date been slow, manual and labour-intensive, with multiple event types and data point requirements across location, insurance, course maps and user details. The new portal will provide motorsport event organisers with an online self-service tool to initiate and complete their event permit application process. It will also facilitate secure online payments with full PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance.

The new e-permit system will provide event organisers with complete visibility of the approval process, significantly reducing the time and costs around managing permit approvals. The system will be built on Microsoft Azure and Dynamics, and is scheduled to go live later in the year.

“ActionPoint is delighted to have been chosen for this project, which will enable ATCUAE to completely transform their permit application process, using the power of Microsoft Azure combined [with] our vast experience at building custom software and enabling digital transformation,” said ActionPoint co-founder and CTO John Savage.

“With over 140 events running each year in the UAE, the new system will make a significant impact on their organisational resourcing and overall efficiencies.

“We work with a number of sports data and sports technology clients, and so the inclusion of motorsports to the mix is very exciting. This project will have a focus on usability, security and, of course, accessibility across multiple languages,” he added.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years