Dubai: The rising role and power of artificial intelligence (AI) in sectors such as commerce, education, transport, computing and other fields will be discussed by UAE-based and international experts during the first UAE AI Summer Camp.

Designed mostly for high school and university students, as well as government executives, the free-to-attend sessions or “camps” will be held from July 1 to August end, mostly at Dubai Future Accelerators at Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai.

The summer camp, said to be a first for the region, is an initiative of the Office of the Minister of State for AI. In October 2017, the UAE appointed Omar Sultan Al Olama (then aged 27) as the country’s first Minister of State for AI.

All sessions for the camp were fully booked within 24 hours; however, organisers have said they are trying to add more seats. More information is available on the camp website — — and its app ‘UAE AI Summer Camp’.

The programme will be split into two streams: the first phase is in partnership with the private sector and hosted by Dubai Future Accelerators and the Dubai Future Academy; the second is in collaboration with the government sector and will be organised in multiple locations in the UAE.

The agenda, comprising presentations and workshops on AI, is focused on increasing the potential of the next generation and the UAE in leading all fields by harnessing the power of AI. Speakers include experts from IBM, Microsoft, Careem, SAP, Autodesk, and Sypron.

Those who attend the full session and check in through the app correctly will receive a certificate within a week or two after completing the programme.

What is AI?

AI is a broad term used to describe the ability of software and machines to perform and demonstrate human-like intelligence and tasks, such as Apple’s Siri assistant, which can understand a wide range of the user’s queries; self-driving cars; or even argue with a human about the prioritising of public funds for space exploration (as demonstrated on Tuesday by IBM’s Project Debater machine in San Francisco).

A main characteristic of AI is that it learns as it goes, without necessarily being pre-programmed for certain tasks, by using algorithms and huge amounts of data. For example, based on shoppers’ buying habits, AI can ‘understand’ their preferences and make recommendations accordingly.

New deal

The UAE AI Summer Camp follows a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed as part of the summer camp initiative, between the Minister of State for AI and the Mohammad Bin Rashid School of Government.

In a statement following the MoU, Al Olama had said: “Preparing young Emiratis in AI and the use of its techniques to create innovative solutions to future challenges, supports the vision and directives of our leadership, to strengthen the UAE’s position as a global hub in the use of AI to shape the future. The creation of government services, programmes and initiatives that enhance the quality of life in the community and support having a competitive knowledgeable economy requires tools, skills and future potentials. These tools have become commonly used worldwide and will have a major role in shaping the future.”

Under the MoU, the Mohammad Bin Rashid School of Government offers the executive education programme ‘Governance of Artificial Intelligence’ to leaders and government decision-makers.

UAE AI Summer Camp

What: Talks and workshops on AI, mostly for high school and university students (as well as government executives), led by technology partners and government partners of the Office of the Minister of State for AI.

When: From July 1 to last week of August

Where: Mostly at Dubai Future Accelerators, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai (with some sessions at other locations in UAE)

Admission: Free-to-attend (prior registration required on or through the ‘UAE AI Summer Camp’ app).

Contact: Call +97145166534; email:


Social media handle: @UAEAICamp


Nasa space camp comes to UAE

Dubai: The Nasa Space and Rocketry Summer Camp 2018 will be held in the UAE for the first time, from July 15 to August 23 in Dubai. Open to all students aged nine to 14, the camp will be led by Nasa space experts.

It will employ Nasa’s and the UAE’s space curriculum, space projects, astronaut training and other activities.

The camp will also introduce students to the science of rockets and give students the chance to build a model rocket.

The weekly camps will take place at Lapita Hotel Ballroom, Dubai Parks and Resorts, on weekdays, from 10am to 4pm. The summer camp is organised by Compass International, a travel brand operating since 2003. To register, email or call +971564551574. The “all-inclusive” registration fee for the camp is Dh2,650.