UAE is buzzing with ideas for drones

UAE is buzzing with ideas for drones

Dubai - The UAE Drones for Good Awards has put the country in the spotlight by showcasing drones that benefit humans

By Sarwat Nasir

Published: Fri 17 Feb 2017, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 17 Feb 2017, 11:58 PM

The UAE is rapidly becoming the hub of drone development through a competition that is receiving thou-sands of submissions each year. The UAE Drones for Good Awards has put the country in the spotlight by showcasing drones that benefit humans. Ammar Malik, the Executive Director of Dubai Internet City - who are hosting the event - said that there has been a total of 1,300 submissions this year, which is a 30 per cent in-crease from 2016.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Malik said: "For us it's not just about attracting big companies and supporting start-ups, we have a third factor which is supporting the initiative to do good for humanity. This is an event which is designed to inspire and to pitch ideas for different people, so they can compete to do good.

This setting allows people to be really creative." Malik said the UAE is taking the lead in drone and robotic development worldwide, with figures showing that the drone industry will have a $8 billion to $10 billion economic impact worldwide, as well as creating 100,000 jobs globally. The award gives a prize of Dh1 million to participants from the UAE and a $1 million to teams from the international category. Malik also pointed out that the UAE "does not forget" about the submissions that do not take the prize, instead businesses and government entities do actually implement them onto the field.
He said: "The creative ideas are not just being presented and forgot-ten about. There are certain ideas that UAE companies are coming up and are solving problems for their country. For example, Dubai Police are coming up with drones and these are drones that are actually being used on the ground. Ministry of Interior are also creating solutions with drones."
Mahmoud Yaseen, a Dubai Po-lice officer at the Emergency Department, told Khaleej Times that they are already using a drone which acts as a metal detector and a surveillance camera - an invention they have also showcased at the competition before. He said: "Our drone can take pictures and send it back to our office and can also go into a crowd where people are fighting and take pictures of the people involved." The competition asks participants to create drones that can serve in the healthcare field, safety and hospitality. However, Malik believes participants' ultimate mission is always to create an invention that can help people in some way.
"We have a lot of people that come up with ideas that can help people. In general, because the areas are focused, we see people who try to do good for healthcare. You'll see more ideas trying to solve problems in the same field, but if you keep the field open it's not going to solve a lot of problems," he said.

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