UAE selects coding ambassadors to promote digital drive

The group of 56 includes promising students and experts in computer programming

Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, said coding will be key to the UAE's development. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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The UAE has selected 56 coding ambassadors to help champion the country's digital drive.

Twenty-three of the enterprising group are Emiratis, drawn from all seven emirates.

They will be central to the vision of the national programme for coders, launched in June 2021 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

The UAE signed a deal with a host of technology giants as part of the initiative, including Google and Amazon, to train 100,000 young people in computer programming within five years.

Sheikh Mohammed wants this tech-savvy workforce to create 1,000 digital companies to boost the Emirati economy and increase government support for start-ups from Dh1.5 billion ($0.41bn) to Dh4bn.

The programme will also grant golden visas to 100,000 of the world’s best coders.

Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, stressed the vital need for future generations to harness technology in order to lead the country into the future.

The ambassadors will help promote the importance of digital knowledge to government and private sector leaders, employees, and university and schools’ students.

The team will co-ordinate monthly meetings, both in-person and online, and organise workshops aimed at sharing the concepts of coding and how it can be a driving force for the economy for years to come.

They will also hold sessions for those interested in being part of the computer programming industry.

The National Programme for Coders identified three different tier programmes for the ambassadors after an extensive interview and evaluation process.

Silver Tier, which has 16 ambassadors, consists of students and fresh graduates with skills in coding; Gold Tier has 33 ambassadors who are advanced in the digital field; and Platinum Tier boasts seven ambassadors who are experts in coding, leaders and employees in government and private institutions.

The ambassadors will work in different teams to enhance competitiveness, with a point system rewarding the most effective performers in a range of tasks, such as holding meetings, workshops, and hackathons.

The ambassadors were chosen ahead of UAE Codes Day on October 29.

Sheikh Mohammed last year declared October 29 would be an annual celebration of coders and programmers and the role these professionals play in advancing the information technology sector in the UAE.

An innovative coding school without teachers or classrooms opened in the capital last October, with 225 pupils, 40 per cent of them women.

Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, a member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, inaugurated 42 Abu Dhabi’s purpose-built campus in Mina Zayed.

Sheikh Khaled said 42 Abu Dhabi represented a new milestone in the UAE leadership’s strategy to nurture tomorrow’s leaders today.

Updated: October 23, 2022, 4:49 PM