Bhutan FAB23 Bhutan


Here you will find some helpful information regarding FAB23 Bhutan. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please submit your question to fabevents[AT]

About The Event

FAB23 Bhutan is a series of programs and activities that creates an immersive 14-day techno-social innovation conference. We gather, connect, and empower local and global communities to imagine and design our future. The event provides a place and a platform for exchange and collaboration, fostering connections and partnerships that can shape a sustainable future.

The Bhutan Challenge is the first activity within the program, followed by the Fab Festival, the Fab Event Conference, and the Fab City Summit.

We encourage participants to join the 14 days of the event.

FAB23 Bhutan will attract a diverse range of innovators, activists, techies, specialists, and generalists. This event is for you if you are:

  • Interested in meeting new people, creating cool things, and engaging with the digital fabrication world; and

  • Inspired to respond to global challenges facing our world in the context of a local culture and explore new models for addressing complex issues through hands-on learning and experience.

As a Fabber (Fab Lab Network), Maker (Maker Network), Hacker (Hacker Space Network), DIYer (Do it yourself Network), green innovator, social or climate activist, avid learner, or member of the general public, you are encouraged to come and discover the latest projects, workshops, activities, and conferences on a range of topics related to these spaces. Regardless of your area of expertise, if you are fascinated by technology, social change, or digital fabrication processes, there is something here for you!

The main venue for FAB23 Bhutan will be located at the Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck SUPER FAB LAB located in Thimphu, Bhutan.

FAB23 Bhutan will take place in Thimphu from July 16-28, 2023.

The Fab Bhutan Challenge will run from July 16 - 22, 2023 and conference events will run from July 23 - 28, 2023.

FAB23 Bhutan:

DAY 1 - Sunday, July 16: Fab Bhutan Challenges: Arrivals, project pre-meeting, challenge planning and travel.
DAY 2 - Monday, July 17: Challenges Kick-Off and Day 1
DAY 3 - Tuesday, July 18: Challenges Day 2
DAY 4 - Wednesday, July 19: Challenges Day 3
DAY 5 - Thursday, July 20: Challenges Day 4
DAY 6 - Friday, July 21: Challenge Teams Return to Thimphu
DAY 7 - Saturday, July 22: Arrival of Rest of Participants to Thimphu - Free Day
DAY 8 - Sunday, July 23: Fab Festival - Public Day and Welcome Recpetion.
DAY 9 - Monday, July 24: FAB23 Bhutan Kick-Off, Ceremonial Day, Symposium, Talks, and Workshops - Technology Day - Graduations.
DAY 10 - Tuesday, July 25: Symposium, Talks, and Workshops - Youth/Education Day
DAY 11 - Wednesday, July 26: Symposium, Talks, and Workshops - Entrepreneurship Day
DAY 12 - Thursday, July 27: Symposium, Talks, and Workshops - Innovation Day
DAY 13 - Friday, July 28: Fab City Summit and Closing Recpetion.

Please see the main page of the FAB23 Bhutan website.
Updates on detailed programming will be available end-May 2023

FAB23 Bhutan will be a distributed event across the country, with its main venue at Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck Super Fab lab (JNWSFL) in Thimphu.

The Fab Bhutan Challenge will take place in the main venue and across 5 different Fab Labs across Bhutan:

  • CNR Bio-FabLab in Punakha
  • Choego DSP Fab Lab in Thimphu
  • DGI Fab Lab in Paro
  • CST FabLab in Chukha
  • JWPTI Fablab in Sarpang

Registration and Fees

Yes, all attendees must apply for and receive a visa prior to departing for FAB23 Bhutan. The FAB23 Bhutan team will coordinate your visa request. You must purchase an event ticket in order to submit your visa application. Information on required documents and how to apply for this visa is coming soon.

Planning and coordinating an international conference with thousands of attendees and the top digital fabrication experts in the world costs money. Registration fees help offset the costs associated with organizing and hosting an event of this scale. We surveyed similar conferences, and our registration fees are relatively modest compared with other large international conferences for the level of programming on offer.

The ticketing schedule is outlined below. Register early to take advantage of the lowest prices and to secure a spot. Spaces are limited due to Bhutan's annual capacity on tourists:

International Participants

Ticket type Cost
Early Bird Full Pass (Feb 28th to May 16th) $530USD (+ service fee)
Full Acess Pass (May 17st to June 16th) $730USD (+ service fee)

Local Participants

Ticket type Cost
Early Bird Full Pass (TBD) $TBD Ng (+ service fee)
Full Access Pass (TBD) $TBD Ng (+ service fee)

We have limited seats available.

Your Full Pass includes 10 days of event programming during FAB23 Bhutan July 16-28, 2023:

  • Visa processing for all participants or dependents
  • Access to the Fab Challenge itinerary (more details coming soon)
  • Access to all panels and symposium days
  • Access to all in-person workshops
  • Workshop materials
  • Open coffee and lunch daily for 5 days (July 24-28)
  • Dinners, receptions, and parties listed in the main schedule (more details coming soon)

Note that the following days are not included as part of the programming offered: July 16, 22, and 23.

Meals are included in all activities at the Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck SUPER FAB LAB (main venue):

Fab Bhutan Challenge: July 17, 18, 19, & 20
Conference Days: July 24, 25, 26, 27, & 28

No Meals Days: July 16, 22, & 23.

The registration is valid for one person and cannot be transferred. As a registered participant, you may attend all sessions that interest you. Any additional participants who may be planning to join, such as partners, spouses, or other family members, must also purchase a FAB23 Bhutan event ticket to receive a visa for this event.

*If you consider that you are an exception to this policy, please reach to us at fabevents[at]

Yes. FAB23 Bhutan (Challenge, Symposiums, Talks, Workshops, and Fab City Summit) is designed as a streamlined experience to take you through the contexts, tools, and collaborative mindsets that support the integration and application of these to real-world issues. You are welcome to attend as many or as few sessions as you wish. We encourage you to make the most of this unique opportunity!

We have arranged special discounts at various nearby accommodations that cater to different budgets. Additionally, you can browse for hotels, resorts, and homestays on online booking platforms such as AirBnb and Agoda.

Read more here

The following policy covers FAB23 Bhutan. Please carefully review the following when booking your registration for the event. By registering to attend the FAB23 Bhutan event, you agree to the following:

Your registration is not complete until full payment is received. All tickets are valid for the named attendee only and cannot be transferred. I. I

  1. In-Person event in Bhutan
    If you must cancel your registration, please submit a written notice to fabevents[at] Please include the ticket identification number listed on the order confirmation email as well as your .pdf ticket . If we receive a valid cancellation request, we will process it as below:
  • One (1) month before the event, a refund of 100% will be issued. Platform fees are not refundable. . Requests must be received before June 16, 2023 to receive the maximum refund.
  • 15 days before the event, a refund of 50% will be issued. Platform Fees are not refundable. Requests must be received before June 30, 2023 to receive a 50% refund.

After June 30, 2023,no refunds will be issued.

  1. Online Events (Not Confirmed)
    Online events are free, but participants need to register in order to receive a link to access the event. It is the participant’s responsibility to be able to access the online events using Zoom. There are no refunds for missed attendance or delays due to technical issues, connectivity, or other problems. Please carefully review the time/timezone.

For All Events
This policy applies to all circumstances, including any reason related to COVID-19, such as transportation disruptions or cancellations, border closures, declined travel visas, illness, travel or health advisories, or quarantines. COVID-19 and its consequences are still a part of this policy.

All participants acknowledge that changes in itinerary, location, content, host or other arrangements may happen with little or no notice before the event date in response to reasons including but not limited to: weather events, security events, closed borders, public health concerns, or host or team sickness or injury. The Fab Foundation, Drukh Holding and Investments (DHI), the Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck Super FabLab, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Bits and Atoms, and the Fab City Foundation reserve the right to make alternate arrangements at any time. We will make every attempt to be transparent and consult with event participants.

It may be necessary to cancel an event at FAB23 Bhutan for reasons beyond our reasonable control. If a FAB23 Bhutan event must be canceled (other than supplementary expeditions or activities), we will offer you the choice of either: (a) a refund for the paid amount minus a 6% transaction fee, or (b) a donation to the Fab Foundation for the total paid amount

In such cases, the Fab Foundation is liable for refunding the fees according to the policy above for the affected event. The event partners shall not be liable for any costs or losses resulting from changes or cancellations as a result of events outside our reasonable control.

We reserve the right to return the payment and refuse acceptance of a booking for any participant, at any time, for any reason, at no penalty to the event partners.

Once approved, any refunds will be issued within 30 days of receipt of the cancellation notice to your original payment method. Refunds usually appear within 3 – 5 days.

Our contact details can be found in the booking confirmation email or on the ticket. To submit a request to cancel your registration, please email us with the order number and other booking details. If you have any other questions, contact us at fabevents[at]

Visa Information

Yes. If you plan on traveling to FAB23 Bhutan, residents of all countries (with the exception of visitors from India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives) need a visa to enter Bhutan.

All other tourists must obtain a visa prior to traveling to Bhutan.  Visas are processed online by the FAB23 Bhutan team and a licensed Bhutanese tour operator.

Note: There is no visa upon arrival. The last day to submit your visa application is June 16, 2023 by 12:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.

No, visa fees are included in the registration ticket fee. No additional charges are required for visa processing.

The maximum requested dates that any attendee at FAB23 Bhutan can apply for a visa are: July 16 - July 31.

However, please note that only participants in the challenge may enter the country on July 16.

If you are not participating in the challenge and only plan to attend the conference and festival, the maximum requested dates for your visa should be July 19 - July 31.

  1. Purchase your online full-access ticket

  2. Complete the visa application form here

  3. Receive a confirmation email with your application

Visa processing time: 20 working days. If you have not heard back about your visa application within 30 days, please contact fabevents[at]

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The Port of Entry for all international participants will be Paro, except for any Indian participants who can travel by car and enter through Phuentsholing.

  1. FAB23 Bhutan Full-access pass ticket .pdf format
  2. Passport Digital Scan/Copy: Passport with at least six months (6 months) of validity remaining from the date of entry to Bhutan.
  3. Passport-sized digital photograph: Recent passport photograph (not more than six months old). The size of the photograph should be 45 mm x 35 mm with your facial image taking up 70 to 80 % of the photograph, taken with a white background and without a border.
  4. Visa Application form: Participants must complete the visa application form that includes basic personal information, travel details, and other relevant information. You can find it as part of the Visa Application Process form here.

Program and Activities

The Fab Bhutan Challenge is the second edition of the the Fab City Challenge. This event brings together local and global communities to propose meaningful interventions to enrich, empower, and scale resilient futures and communities.

Over four days, global networks and the local Bhutanese ecosystem will converge to propose and prototype design outputs that address local challenges.

The Challenge will start on July 16, before the main conference begins, and will include pre-registered international and local participants.**

The Fab Bhutan Challenge will run from Sunday, July 16, 2023, with introductions and travel to the 5 different partner Fab Lab sites across the Kingdom.

From July 17 to July 20, 2023 participants will engage and collaborate with local labs and create projects that tackle local challenges.

All participants will return to the main site at the Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck SUPER FAB LAB on July 21, 2023.

Finally, the Challenge Awards will be presented during the Fab City Summit Ceremony on July 28, 2023.

The Fab Festival Bhutan is an OPEN event with the local community!

From hands-on workshops to playful competitions to technical talks by eminent makers and innovators, the Fab Festival invites the Bhutan community - from all ages, and entirely for free - to participate in the festivities and be inspired by the diversity of makers and activities from Bhutan and around the world.

The FAB FESTIVAL BHUTAN will take place on July 23, 2023 at the Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck Super Fab lab (JNWSFL)in Thimphu.

Registration coming soon.

FAB23 Bhutan is the largest and most strategic digital fabrication event in the world, providing a global forum for the ecosystem of makers, inventors, artists, academics, researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and creative people to connect, collaborate, and co-create pathways to our shared future, using technology as a platform to support these visions. Be inspired to design our future economies by visionaries and thought leaders from digital fabrication businesses, research institutions, academia, government, entrepreneurial endeavors, and community-based organizations.

This conference provides a platform for Fab Lab users and stakeholders to showcase their projects, exchange best practices, and explore new opportunities for collaboration. The conference typically features keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and exhibitions, as well as opportunities for networking and socializing.

The Fab Lab conference is a key event in the digital fabrication community and attracts participants from around the world, including makers, educators, entrepreneurs, and policymakers. It is a forum for learning, innovation, and collaboration, and is an important platform for advancing the field of digital fabrication.

The FAB23 Bhutan conference will start on Monday, July 24, 2023, with an opening ceremony and finalizing the day with program graduations. Throughout the day, panels, workshops, and activities center on the theme of Technology.

From July 25 to July 27, 2023 participants be able to create, participate, or engage with talks, panels, workshops, working groups, and cultural immersion around the following topics: Youth & Education / Innovation, Sustainability & Community / and Entrepreneurship.

All activities will be hosted at the main site: Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck SUPER FAB LAB (JNWSFL).

FAB23 Bhutan is a series of programs and activities that creates an immersive 14-day techno-social innovation conference that gathers, connects, and empowers local and global communities to imagine and design our future. The event provides a place and a platform for exchange and collaboration, fostering connections and partnerships that can shape a sustainable future.

The Bhutan Challenge is the first activity within the program, followed by the Fab Festival, the Fab Event Conference, and finalizing with the Fab City Summit.

We encourage participants to join us for the 14 days of the event. If this is not possible, please make sure to mark it under your registration ticket.

The Fab City Summit brings together individuals, organizations, and communities from around the world who are interested in advancing the concept of "Fab Cities." A Fab City is self-sufficient and locally productive, meaning that it aims to produce locally everything it consumes. This includes food, energy, products, and services. The Fab City movement seeks to leverage the power of digital fabrication technologies, such as 3D printing, to enable cities to become more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive.

Fab City Summit will be held on July 28, 2023.

Information On Your Trip To FAB23

  1. Purchase your online full access ticket
  2. Indicate whether you are interested in joining the Fab Bhutan Challenge
  3. Complete the Visa Application Form and get visa clearance within 10-12 days after your application
  4. Buy your international airfare to one of the set destinations: Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Bangkok, Guwahati, Bangkok, or Singapore

More information on Airfare arrangements coming soon.

Bhutan has one international airport located in Paro, Bhutan (with no commercial available flights). In order to get to Paro, you need to purchase airfare from your location to one of the following destinations: Delhi, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kolkata, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Bangkok, or Singapore. You can then purchase a connecting flight from these locations to Paro, Bhutan. At present, two carriers operate flights into Bhutan: Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. There are also domestic airports in Yonphula in eastern Bhutan, Bumthang in central Bhutan, and Gelephu in south-central Bhutan.

Once you arrive in Paro, ground transportation is available to reach the event site in Thimphu. Travel by car or bus from Paro to Thimphu takes roughly 1 hour and 16 minutes (50.6 Km). More information about ground transportation will be available closer to the event.

Paro is situated at a height of 2,225 m (7300 ft) above sea level and is surrounded by mountains as high as 4,876 m (16,000 ft). Flying into Bhutan’s Paro International Airport is typically an exciting experience as the descent into Paro valley brings you closer to the mountain tops than most other flights in the world. The flight between Paro and Kathmandu is one of the most exciting on offer, as the aircraft passes over four of the five highest mountains in the world. In fine weather, as you soar higher up, you can enjoy the spectacular view of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Kangchenjunga at their best.

Flying into Bhutan

Map from entry ports in China, India, Nepal, Thailand and Singapore

Flying within Bhutan
Map of available airports inside Bhutan

Traveling by road
Road Map of Bhutan

More information:

Bhutan’s unit of currency is called the Ngultrum (Nu). The Ngultrum is pegged to the Indian Rupee at 1 Ngultrum = 1 Indian Rupee.

For money conversion, please refer to the following rates provided by the local bank.

For an estimated exchange rate, please refer here.

Cash: While larger shops and more established hotels accept credit or debit cards, a majority of the local shops & restaurants do not accept cards of any kind in Bhutan. Make sure you bring in cash to exchange at the airport or at the local bank. Apart from the Bhutanese currency Ngultrum, the widely accepted currency is the Indian Rupee.

In addition to cash, you can also download the goBoB app on your phone. GoBoB is a virtual wallet powered by Bank of Bhutan Limited through which a user can store his or her money for future online or offline transactions. Foreigners are able to link their bank accounts or cards to this wallet.

In Bhutan, all major towns are well connected with electricity that runs on 220/240 volts with round hole two-pin and three-pin power outlets. It is recommended that you bring flat-to-round pin converters for your electronics, but most hotels offer multi-plug sockets. Bhutan is a carbon-neutral destination and energy is clean and green-generated by hydro power.

Tipping is a purely personal matter. We leave it up to you as to whether you want to give a gratuity to your guides and drivers. However, if doing so, we recommend that you place the gratuity in an envelope.

Bring: a raincoat, laptop, power cord with the adapter, personal cards, your phone, and lots of creative energy!