DHARMA, an Abu-Dhabi-based start-up brings the economy of passion to the travel space

LONDON, United Kingdom – African Media Agency – January 12, 2022 – Sports legend Eric Cantona and former Manchester United captain today revealed he is launching a travel brand in partnership with DHARMA, the disruptive startup that creates travel brands for the passion economy.

In Search of FC by Eric Cantona. The most passionate football trips on earth.

Eric Cantona commented: “Our idea was to create the most passionate football trips in the world, with charisma and soul. Today everything is optimized for price – we wanted to optimize for passion. “

In Search of FC (www.lookingfc.com) offers 4-day trips specially designed by Cantona himself that take guests on an immersive sporting pilgrimage to explore global football cities through the lens of the world’s most dynamic clubs and their loyal supporters.


“We believe the future of travel will be driven by passion, not geography. As people reassign their identities to online communities, the need for IRL connection with like-minded people will only grow – it is in this space that the travel brand model as a service. of DHARMA is a pioneer. Our value proposition is unique in that it combines online SaaS technology with automated touring operations, empowering iconic people and brands not only to monetize their network through travel, but also to create differentiation through the ultimate game of brand value: transformative experiences.said Charaf El Mansouri, CEO and co-founder of DHARMA.

Launched in 2018 by travel pioneers Nisma Benani, Charaf El Mansouri and Leah Howe, Dharma counts Culture Trip, the world’s largest travel media publication, Bitso, a cryptocurrency unicorn, Pernod Ricard, the second largest producer of wines and spirits in the world, Equinox, the world’s leading luxury fitness brand, and Light Watkins, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s meditation instructor, among his many clients.

“During a summit of Mount Toubkal that we were organizing for the Equinox in Morocco, Charaf and I asked ourselves: what if we could do this for every Equinox in the world? We are opening up a whole new world of opportunities in travel that is disruptive and downright exhilarating, from wellness to street art to cannabis. The opportunities are endless and we look forward to sharing the next launches and partnerships that we have planned for this year. said Leah Howe, CXO and co-founder.

DHARMA was one of the first startups accepted into Mubadala’s Hub71 program, with the founding team moving to Abu Dhabi from New York and Marrakech.

“If anyone is in doubt that the next disruption in travel technology will come from the United Arab Emirates, they haven’t paid attention. This country thinks in 50 year increments and is a case study for pushing the boundaries of travel.

DHARMA is a remote native team with backgrounds in some of the world’s most exciting technology and travel companies such as Uber, Airbnb, Equinox, Butterfield & Robinson and G Adventures. The company said it has raised a total of $ 3.5 million over the past year, backed by leading investors in the hospitality industry and the passion economy. This includes Convivialite Ventures (San Francisco), CVC from Pernod Ricard, one of the world’s largest wine and spirits manufacturers, L & Ventures (Salzburg), CVC from Loop Agentur, the global marketing agency for Puma, Red Bull and Porsche, BY Venture Partners (Beirut), first backers of Sowork, Thread and Ro, Shorooq (Abu Dhabi), the main VC in the MENA region, and Flat6Labs (Cairo), the main accelerator in the region MENA.

“Our mission is to connect the world through the power of shared experience. Finding your dharma is finding your goal, your alignment, your vocation. That’s what travel should be like, and it’s something that resonates with our team, our investors, our hosts and our guests. We are so excited about the future of travel, with 2022 booked GMV already 30 times higher than 2019 and 6 times higher than 2021.”Said Nisma Benani, CFAO and co-founder.