From hovering abras to flying taxis, new award urges Emiratis to look to the future

The Emirati Futurism Award aims to stimulate public imagination and 'create a new representation of what the future holds'

A new competition to spark debate about what the future may hold for the UAE was launched on Saturday.

The Emirati Futurism Award is aimed at encouraging designers, artists and inventors to deliver their vision of how technology could thrust the country further into the future.

It aims to preserve Emirati culture and heritage, while creating glimpse of what future living may hold for millions of families.

A visual example to accompany the launch, by Dubai Culture and Dubai Future Foundation, features floating abras and aerial drones and taxis.

Khalfan Belhoul, chief executive of Dubai Future Foundation, a think tank, said he hoped the award would "accelerate the adoption of technologies and digital transformation and create a positive shift in the UAE’s arts and culture sector, while preserving the distinctive features of the country’s values and heritage".

The competition comprises seven categories including: Architecture and Urbanism; Fashion and Jewellery; Product and Industrial Design; Photography and Graphic Design; Film and Animation; Music and Performing Arts; and Fine Arts.

The winner of each competition category will walk away with cash prizes. Additionally, the seven winners and seven runners-up will receive internship opportunities at various organisations. The competition also includes an Honourable Mention and People’s Choice Award.

Entrants will also receive exhibition and retail opportunities at the Museum of the Future on Sheikh Zayed Road.

The Emirati Futurism Award is open to all citizens and residents of the UAE. You can apply at