Fahed Bin Al Shaikh, deputy chairman of Autism Trust Foundation (ATF) Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: A billboard featuring 700 paintings by autistic children from around the world is to take pride of place on Shaikh Zayed Road.

The 92 square metre billboard will be covered with 700 scanned paintings created by youngsters from 20 countries.

The project, which was launched by the Autism Trust Foundation (ATF) under the patronage of Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, aims to raise awareness about autistic children by showing the public their capabilities through artwork.

“A jury will choose one winner from each country by January. The 20 winners will then be invited along with their parents on an all-expense paid trip to Dubai a week prior to the awards ceremony, which will take place on April 2, 2014,” said Deputy Chairman of ATF, Fahed Bin Al Shaikh. “We plan on holding this competition every two years,” he added.

According to Al Shaikh, the billboard will be revealed a week prior to the awards ceremony. He also said that the children’s original artwork will be exhibited at malls across the UAE.

“Along with raising awareness about the children’s capabilities we hope to open doors for the centres participating to communicate with one another. This will be vital in sharing knowledge and research among each other,” Al Shaikh said.

The ATF is a non-profit organisation founded by Emirati, Al Shaikh, in 2010 with the aim of launching initiatives and programmes through its network of offices in the UK, the UAE, the USA, Canada, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina and Palestine.