Press Release

TRA Opens Registration for the 3rd Edition of “The UAE Hackathon: Data for Happiness and Wellbeing"

Launched on 3rd of February in cooperation with the National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing
Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri: “The UAE Hackathon is an annual event that gathers creative minds in a comprehensive partnership between government, universities, private sector and individuals”.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced the opening of registration for the UAE Hackathon “Data for Happiness and wellbeing” new edition, organized in cooperation with the National Program for Happiness and wellbeing, within the activities of the UAE Innovation Month next February, in all emirates of the country.

TRA published the registration link on the hackathon website (, inviting those wishing to participate in this innovative competition to guarantee their places in the hackathon according to the emirate in which they reside or wish to participate in.

The UAE Hackathon aims to develop innovative solutions and ideas that contribute to enhancing the wellbeing and raising the happiness meter of the UAE. These solutions and ideas would be extracted from the data available with and exchanged between government entities.

The 3rd edition of UAE Hackathon will start on February 3. The first week of the Hackathon will be hosted by Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi from February 3 to 5. The second week will be Sharjah Hackathon from February 9 to 11 at the Sharjah Book Authority, Ajman Hackathon from February 10 to 12 at Ajman University, and Umm Al Quwain Hackathon from February 11 to 13 at Umm Al Quwain Youth Centre. The UAE Hackathon will take place in Ras Al Khaimah from February 16 to 18 at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah, in Fujairah from February 18 to 20 at University of Science and Technology of Fujairah, and in Dubai from February 24 to 26 at Zayed University in Dubai.

TRA announced that the closing ceremony will be on 3 March, which coincides with the International Open Data Day. The top three winners from each emirate will be honoured during the event.


Towards a better future for the UAE and its society

H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA Director General, ensured that: “The UAE Hackathon ‘data for happiness and wellbeing’ has become an annual event that gathers creative minds in a comprehensive partnership between government, universities, private sector and individuals, to work towards achieving a better future for the UAE and its society; a future based on exploring smart solutions by analyzing data and addressing current and future challenges in this rapidly changing world.”

He added: “Today we live in an era that requires a lot of innovation and creativity to achieve the goals. As for the UAE, which has set for itself pioneering and leading goals, smart dealing with the modern tools and concepts helps to foresee and make the future in a way that achieves happiness and wellbeing. This is the essence of the hackathon project, where hundreds of teams representing different segments of society, gather and analyze the data available to reach solutions to challenges in many areas such as smart cities, health, education, and others.”

Al Mansoori added: “This year, we decided to continue our efforts to attract more creative participants from across the seven emirates, and to focus on the needed future solutions, in line with the wise leadership announcement for 2020 as the year for preparations “2020: towards the next fifty”.  We are keen to meet the expectations of our leadership through achieving great results that contribute to the goals and future visions of the country.”

H.E. Al Mansoori assured TRA’s keenness to turn the results of the hackathon into reality. He added: “The efforts and creative ideas resulted from the hackathons will turn into great projects, to ensure the achievement of the hackathon slogan, data for happiness and wellbeing.”

TRA Director General urged all government entities to motivate their employees to participate in the hackathon. He said: “We want to see teams that represent everyone. I urge all government entities to take serious steps to make data available to the public as per the applicable laws, which contributes to preparing the youth and the next generation for the unique and completely different future labor market. Future studies indicate that future job market will mainly depend on new skills such as data analysis, innovation and artificial intelligence.”


10 themes for the hackathon challenges

TRA has adopted ten themes covering the challenges of the UAE Hackathon, in line with the wise leadership announcement for 2020 as the year for preparations “2020: towards the next fifty”, including happiness and wellbeing, Expo 2020, smart and sustainable cities, environment and climate change, a health system with global standards, investment in space, sustainability and infrastructure integration, a high-level educational system, digital transformation, security And safety.

Any UAE resident holding a valid Emirates ID card can participate in the UAE Hackathon. The competitions are not limited to people working or interested in the IT field, but are intended for storytellers, artists, entrepreneurs, engineers, thinkers, innovators, problem-solvers and any person with ambition and imagination to make things better.

TRA held a workshop to introduce the UAE Hackathon 2020, in its Dubai office, in the presence of coordinators from federal entities, and a number of local entities such as the Roads and Transport Authority Dubai (RTA) and Department Of Town Planning and Survey Sharjah. The workshop aimed to introduce the UAE Hackathon 2020 initiative, the developments of the hackathon for this year, and the initiative’s support to “2020: Towards the next 50”.

The UAE Hackathon is an innovation event organized by TRA, in partnership with National Program for Happiness and wellbeing, first launched in February 2018. The UAE Hackathon aims to bring together university students, high-school students, employees, entrepreneurs, and IT professionals to develop innovative solutions and ideas for the challenges posed in the hackathon, using available data sets. Three winning teams will be identified in each emirate, and a closing ceremony will be held in March to honor the winners. Hackathons are held in the seven emirates of the country, a hackathon in each emirate.