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Dubai: More than 1,500 youth from over 190 countries will compete in Dubai later this month to build robots to clean up the oceans, under the ‘2019 FIRST Global DXB Challenge’.

The event will be held in the region for the first time, from October 24 to 27 at Dubai’s Festival Arena.

One of the largest events of its kind, the Challenge aims to address the world’s most critical environmental issues, such as wastage of water and energy, sustainability and pollution through a global robotics competition.

‘Ocean Opportunities’

Organised by the Dubai Future Foundation under the theme ‘Ocean Opportunities’, the Challenge focuses on developing robots to clean up the millions of tons of pollutants in the oceans. Each team receives a robotic kit and is tasked with assembling a robot able to address various issues related to ocean and marine life.

Global hub

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council, who is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation, said Dubai continues to cement its position as a global hub for young talent and creative minds, with its determination to employ technology across various sectors as part of its Fourth Industrial Revolution drive.

He added that technology is the key element shaping the industries of the future. It is an indispensable tool for tackling human challenges and ensuring a better tomorrow, Shaikh Hamdan said.

Visionary leader

He added that the vision Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has helped the UAE create the optimal environment for motivating young people to engage with modern science, especially advanced technology such as robotics and artificial intelligence.

Shaikh Hamdan’s remarks came as Dubai prepares to host the Challenge. He said that the importance of the event stems from its focus on engaging young people in finding solutions for future challenges. This narrative resonates with the city of Dubai, which has established itself as a global destination for creativity in a short period of time.

“Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai has opened its doors for talent to flourish. Hosting such global events enables Dubai to translate this guidance into reality and ensure positive outcomes that benefit humankind. We are proud to have become enablers for the convergence of minds and initiatives that pave the way for creating a better tomorrow,” Shaikh Hamdan said.

Empowering youth

“The future of the world is in the hands of young people. Our role is to help empower them and expand their participation in all fields so as to prepare them to face future challenges. It is crucial that we provide them with the tools that enable them to create and advance because they hold the key to a prosperous future,” he added.

Hosting the event supports the UAE’s objective of creating an environment that attracts talent from around the world, empowers youth, especially innovators and creative thinkers, to create a positive future for humanity.

Winning bid

The UAE won the bid to host the FIRST Global Challenge at the 7th World Government Summit in Dubai last February, in the presence of Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, Chairman of the World Government Summit, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation.

Al Gergawi said: “Hosting such a key global event underlines the UAE’s keenness to promote global partnerships aimed at creating a better future for mankind. It is essential that we support creative talent and facilitate the dissemination of knowledge.”