Combating coronavirus: UAE-based university to hold graduation ceremony via drones
The university has a reputation for taking the path less taken.
A Dubai-based university is all set to host a drive-in graduation ceremony where drones will confer degrees on the students.
The American University in the Emirates (AUE) said it will host the ceremony on July 15. The date coincides with the birthday of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The university's president Muthanna Abdul Razzak said: "We are attempting something new. Due to Covid-19, students stopped coming to the university. I could sense that they would be upset because they wouldn't be able to have a proper graduation ceremony. So, we thought of doing this."
An elaborate plan has been laid out. Each student will park his/her vehicle as per the area assigned to them and will get to hear their names being called out through the radio. Twenty drones will be deployed to hand over the degrees to them.
"There will be a stage which will be about two metres higher than the car park. The chairman of the board of trustees, Major-General Dr Ahmed Nasseer Al Raisi, will be there with some other board members. In all, we will not have more than six members on the stage.
"As names of students are called out on the microphone, the drones will fly towards their cars. We will ensure that there is a distance of two metres at least between the cars. There are close to 472 students who will be graduating," said Razzaq.
The ceremony will end with a light show. "We will also celebrate HH Sheikh Mohammed's birthday on the spot."
While the big day is still some time away, the university is in talks with the Guinness World Records to have this unusual drive-in ceremony featured. "We have been working on this for close to four weeks," he said.
The university has a reputation for taking the path less taken. In 2009, students of the AUE did a fashion show underwater at the Atlantis.
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