Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has hosted the ‘Design Thinking Hackathon’ as the first hackathon of the ‘Create Apps in Dubai’ initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.
Held at Dubai Chambers headquarters, the interactive workshop was attended by His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office, and Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy. The event welcomed more than 100 young Emiratis, providing them with an opportunity to explore the challenges and opportunities involved in developing smart applications and discuss effective strategies for bringing their business ideas to life.
Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, highlighted the crucial importance of empowering a new generation of young Emirati talents and digital experts. This stands as a foundational element and a key factor to achieve the UAE Digital Economy Strategy aimed at fostering innovative solutions to future challenges across various sectors, in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. These directives prioritise the preparation of national talents and skilled individuals capable of harnessing technology and artificial intelligence solutions to create innovative economic opportunities. Consequently, this effort further solidifies the UAE and Dubai’s status as a global hub for talents and enterprises, establishing them as leaders in the digital economy regionally and globally.
Lootah emphasised the significance of the Design Thinking Hackathon, which aims to provide developmental opportunities to the young generation in line with the goals of ‘Create Apps in Dubai.’ The initiative seeks to empower the upcoming generation, ensuring the prosperity of the business environment and enhancing Dubai’s economy. Lootah stated that Dubai’s economy is characterised by diversity, flexibility, and a unique foundation based on leveraging technology to accelerate growth and digital transformation across various fields, especially in companies aligned with the goals of the UAE’s Digital Economy Strategy. The strategy aims to double the contribution of the digital economy to the national GDP to 19.4% during the coming decade and solidify the UAE’s position as a leading global capital of the digital economy.
Lootah further explained that Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy seeks through its pivotal role and various initiatives to promote a strong digital economy based on national talents.
The event featured inspirational speeches and a panel session, together with a series of activities introducing design thinking methodologies to help participants identify and develop business ideas for mobile applications. Targeting fresh graduates and digital entrepreneurs, the workshop was held to strengthen engagement with future business leaders in the digital sector and support them in their journeys towards realising the ambitions of the UAE’s Digital Economy Strategy and the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33).
The initiative is aimed at nurturing the capabilities of national digital talent and has set a target to train a select group of 1,000 Emiratis in partnership with the private sector, in line with its goal of tripling the number of app creators in the emirate by 2025. Create Apps in Dubai also supports 100 new national projects for the development of cutting-edge apps that will be made available in digital app stores over the next two years.
Globally, users spent more than US$160 billion on apps during 2021, while the number of apps downloaded in the same year exceeded 230 billion. Over 157 million financial and business apps were downloaded in the Middle East and Africa region alone, underlining the exciting opportunities available for investors, entrepreneurs, and talented young app developers.
Led by Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, Create Apps in Dubai seeks to leverage new growth opportunities in the sector by creating a strong digital infrastructure, developing a legislative framework that supports the development of apps, and introducing government incentives to accelerate the sector’s growth in line with the chamber’s strategic objectives.