Press Release

UAE Hackathon 2019 begins in Abu Dhabi

The Abu Dhabi Hackathon kicked off  in the capital with the participation of more than 300 students, employees, business owners and entrepreneurs, the first phase of the 2019 UAE Hackathon (Data for Happiness and Quality of Life) organized by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in partnership with a number of government and private entities, across the emirates in conjunction with the Month of Innovation.

The three-day event is being held in Abu Dhabi, where the first day included a briefing about the mechanisms of the Hackathon, how to work in teams of people with diverse knowledge and interests, and how to deal with data to reach solutions that reflect their needs, contribute to community happiness and enhance the quality of life. Through these workshops, contenders will learn about data analysis tools, data presentation tools, data concepts, how to work with UAE government data, and advanced geospatial data.

Following the preliminary stage, the teams engaged in a competitive process to develop solutions and ideas in accordance with the pre-set challenges that reflect government and community priorities. On the sidelines of  the Hackathon, training continued in areas such as teamwork, presentation and communication skills, development, programming, and data analysis.

The contestants will finalize their work on the second day under the same teams while the training continues, but on the third day, the teams will stop in the middle of the day so as to prepare for the judging process involving experts, academics and officials.

In the evaluation process, competing teams will have the opportunity to present their findings on the podium within a specific time frame, with the aim of successfully convincing the jury, inter alia, of the feasibility of the innovative solution or project, its applicability on the ground and its reliance on real data from the available government data platform. The team's ability to present is an important criterion in determining winners.

Commenting on the launch of the Hackathon, H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, TRA Director General, said: "The UAE Hackathon coincides with the Month of Innovation, in a clear message that the UAE seeks to be among the most innovative countries in the world, in line with UAE Vision 2021 and the National Agenda, as well as by looking ahead, strengthening national competencies in a competitive environment driven by like-mindedness, teamwork and developing creative ideas to tackle the challenges."

He added: "The key defining feature that sets the Hackathon apart is that it embodies partnership and concerted effort between the government, academia, companies and members of society, reflecting a positive image of the digital city community in the ever-expanding data age." 

In turn, Mr. Salem Al Housani, Acting Deputy Director General of the mGovernment Sector, welcomed the participants and said: “Countries in today's world are progressing due to including all segments of society in the building and development process and in providing insights, ideas and future solutions. This is exactly the objective of UAE Hackathon 2019 (Data for Happiness and Quality of Life), where it aims to attract the interested and experts in data analysis, to come up with ideas and solutions to specific challenges through the data provided by government entities. The Hackathon strives to generate as many constructive ideas as possible to visualize the decisions and strategies upon which

This year's UAE Hackathon covered many topics related to trending technologies, health, environment, sustainability, security and safety, employment, education, social development, justice, and lifestyle enhancement in the UAE.

We witnessed this year the launch of the best UAE media coverage award, which aims to encourage hosts, participants and the public to promote the Hackathon and its objectives. The award consists of two categories: the host category and the participant/audience category. The winners will be selected based on their activity and interaction in spreading the word about the Hackathon across the various media available, such as websites, social media, circulars and publications in hallways, corridors and halls. A competent committee, composed of local media professionals, will oversee the arbitration of submissions and select the best media coverage, and winners will be announced at the closing ceremony on March 3, 2019.

UAE Hackathon 2019 is expected to contribute to the development of applications and solutions related to food and natural resources, help the government to secure food and sustain resources. In addition, competitors will gain access to smart applications that use artificial intelligence in fire incidents to address and mitigate the most common causes of such incidents. Participants will also benefit from analyzing data on diseases, their causes and identifying common factors in an effort to develop ideas that will help healthcare providers predict future trends in treatment. The Abu Dhabi chapter also has special challenges at the level of the emirate, such as the innovative solutions to serve justice, enhancement of social relations in the UAE community, and enhancement of lifestyle in the UAE.

The TRA invited the public to participate in the UAE Hackathon: “Data for Happiness and Quality of Life", which takes place during the Month of Innovation, February 2019, in all seven emirates. Registration can be done through the Hackathon website https://hackathon.ae

The UAE Hackathon will continue until February 5, while Sharjah Hackathon will convene on 10-12 Feb, Ajman on 11-13 Feb, and Umm Al Quwain on 12-14 Feb. The UAE Hackathon will also launch in Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah from February 19 to 21. This year, the UAE Hackathon will be held in the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain independently of the Emirate of Ajman. The fourth week will see the Dubai Hackathon, which kicks off on February 24 until February 26. While the closing ceremony of UAE Hackathon will take place on March 3, in conjunction with the International Open Data Day, where the top 3 winners in each emirate will be honored.