Dubai's One Million Arab Coders project equips youth with digital skills

Initiative grants 1,500 scholarships for outstanding students


Waheed Abbas

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Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Published: Tue 21 Jun 2022, 3:26 PM

Dubai’s One Million Arab Coders (OMAC) initiative has equipped more than one million Arab youth from 80 countries with digital skills in four years.

The initiative was launched in 2017 by Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiatives (MBRGI) and led by Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) in partnership with Udacity - a digital educational platform providing digital courses in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, cloud computing, and other disciplines. The initiative concluded in July last year.

One Million Arab Coders was the largest initiative of its kind which helped bridge the digital literacy gap among Arab youth.

Young Arabs learnt programming through five million hours of study, and 76,000 training workshops. The initiative has brought about 100,000 successful graduation projects and granted 1,500 scholarships for outstanding students.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation, awarded the winner of the “One Million Arab Coders” challenge with a grand prize of $1 million, while the five best projects’ owners received prizes worth $50,000 each, whereas the top four trainers won $25,000 each in a closing ceremony in May 2022.

“Dubai, with its forward-thinking mindset, aims to be the world’s leading city in terms of innovation, in collaboration with its public and private sector partners,” said Khalfan Juma Belhoul, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Future Foundation.

Gabe Dalporto, CEO of Udacity, said the initiative made a qualitative achievement in empowering talent with the digital skills that will offer a direct path to a prosperous future, including software development, mobile applications, and digital analytics.

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