Ahmad Saeed Al Calily. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Science is no longer about ‘geeks' in white laboratory coats, instead, it is now regarded as something exciting, which is why continued efforts must be made to highlight the sector's vitality, a top official from the Technology Development Committee (TDC) has said.

"We want to celebrate science and all its contributions to our lives … also; this is the time for science in Abu Dhabi… that is why we want to excite children to explore this sector through the inaugural Abu Dhabi Science Festival," said Ahmad Saeed Al Calily, Director General of TDC, which has organised the festival.

To ensure this exploration into all things scientific, the festival includes not only many exhibits but also a high level of interactivity that promises to make it a fun experience for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. The TDC has joined forces with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), the Edinburgh International Science Festival and the 1001 Inventions exhibition, and other partners to organise the festival.

"The Abu Dhabi Science Festival is strategic, however, in that this is about Abu Dhabi's future. Our government is taking the steps to transform our economy into a knowledge-based one, which means it's about the human being, people being equipped technologically and armed with the necessary scientific methodologies… this is one of the ways to achieve that," Al Calily said.

‘Science communicators'

Approximately 80,000 visitors are expected to attend the nine-day event at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and the Corniche. Among them, more than 17,000 pupils representing more than 175 schools will be taking part in the festival's 150 activities, shows and workshops. Additionally, 500 university students from five universities across the Emirate will act as ‘science communicators'.

"The festival aims to not only reach out to schools and universities… we want to also engage the community because everything that is featured here can be connected to our daily lives… the 1001 inventions exhibition for example, will highlight just how richly Muslims have contributed to the field of science," he said.