NSTI Festival 1
A scene during the opening ceremonies of the 7th National Science, Technology and Innovation (NSTI) Festival. It forms part of UAE Innovation Month, and runs throughout the month of February. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The 7th National Science, Technology, and Innovation (NSTI) Festival, the largest educational event in the region, has begun, marking the start of a month-long celebration aimed at promoting innovation and empowering young individuals to turn creative ideas into successful projects.

The festival, which offers students a platform to exhibit innovations, fostering creativity, talent, and academic excellence, was graced by Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education, who attended the opening ceremonies.

This event forms part of UAE Innovation Month and will run throughout February. The Dubai Festival City hosts the NSTI events until February 5.

Minister of Education
Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education, and other distinguished officials attended the opening ceremonies of the National Science, Technology and Innovation Festival in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Also present were Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Cultural Advisor to His Highness the President of the UAE and Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University, Dr. Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak Al Shamsi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Huda Al Hashimi, Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategic Affairs, and Dara Calleary, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Ireland.

Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education, emphasised the importance of technology, science, innovation and entrepreneurship in building a knowledge-based society.

He highlighted the MoE’s commitment to enhancing the skills of UAE students, fostering innovation and providing the guidance and tools needed to transform creative ideas into successful projects.

Educational initiative

Dr. Al Falasi added: “The NSTI Festival is a leading educational initiative in the Middle East and ranks among the top global events.

“It offers a platform for students to showcase and exchange innovative ideas and projects at a national level. It also provides opportunities for communication with experts, fostering talent growth in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship.”


The seventh NSTI Festival features various events, including the sixth ‘Emirates Young Scientist Competition’, showcasing innovative projects from Cycle 2 and Cycle 3 students across the UAE.

The competition has achieved a noticeable increase in the number of research projects and participating schools; the number of projects registered in the competition increased from 217 in 2018 to 3,966 in 2024.

Additionally, the number of participating schools surged from 153 in 2018 to 424 in 2024.

In this year’s Emirates Young Scientist Competition, projects are categorised into four main fields – Technology, Biological and Ecological Sciences, Chemistry, Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Social and Behavioural Sciences.

The top 100 projects from all categories will compete at the NSTI Festival.

Harnessing AI

The MoE is harnessing AI to evaluate projects this year. In line with the National Agenda for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, which aims to make the UAE an entrepreneurial nation by 2031, the NSTI Festival will also host the ‘KIDSPRENEUR’ competition, targeting Kindergarten and Cycle 1 students to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation from an early age.

Additionally, “The Next Founder Competition” will empower undergraduate and postgraduate students to present their emerging entrepreneurial project ideas for evaluation and potential support.

The NSTI Festival will include a specialised conference featuring local and global speakers renowned in the fields of science, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, there will be a Family Festival offering various entertainment and educational activities to enhance the overall experience.

Since its inception, the NSTI Festival has hosted over 100 speakers, welcomed more than 70,000 visitors and collaborated with over 70 partners from the public and private sectors.

Additionally, it has organised more than 170 multi-specialised workshops, showcasing the Festival’s significant educational impact on students, educators, specialists and various segments of society.