Sharjah student wins $10,000 for futuristic plan to ease traffic issues

The prize is part of Sharjah Police's Future Readiness 2022 award

Rahaf Sabeh, 28, from Syria, won $10,000 for her idea to overhaul the emirate’s transportation infrastructure. Salam Al Amir / The National
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A Sharjah student has won the top prize of $10,000 in a competition aimed at imagining innovative ways to improve life in the emirate in the future.

Sharjah Police invited individuals and institutions to enter the Future Readiness 2022 competition. Prizes worth $127,000 were given to winners and runners-up.

The 181 entries received covered topics such as future crimes, transportation, cyber security, combating drug use and rehabilitation.

Rahaf Sabeh, 28, from Syria submitted an entry that envisioned a future with high-speed transport and flying taxis.

Emirati researcher Aisha Al Hammadi won second place with her study about the use of artificial intelligence applications for drones and for road transport safety.

In third place, researcher Saud Al Zafar from Saudi Arabia proposed the use of self-driving cars.

Ms Sabeh's winning plan proposed overhauling the emirate’s transportation infrastructure and promoting the use of clean energy.

It also encouraged investment in innovative public transportation systems such as the hyperloop, and the use of suspended rail transportation and cable cars.

She suggested converting building rooftops into landing and take-off pads for smart aerial vehicles and self-driving flying taxis.

The business administration student decided to focus on transportation due to her experiences with the emirate's busy motorways.

“It's frustrating, traffic in the emirate especially during school days,” Ms Sabeh said.

"My participation in the award suggests solutions as it looks at the future of transportation based on its current reality.”

Target illegal drugs

In the institutions category, a proposal from Dr Reham Aljarf and Amina Alawadi from a local education and consultancy firm, won first place

They proposed further studies on tackling the illegal promotion and sale of drugs on social media.

“Little research has been done on the use of social media as a channel for drug trading,” the participants said.

Their study suggested drafting more laws that would limit the use of social media for promoting drugs.

A study about predicting cyber security crimes submitted by a business software developing company from Saudi Arabia came in second place.

In third place was a proposal by the National Centre for Social and Criminological Research in Egypt about predicting and preventing non-traditional future crimes.

Brig Gen Dr Mohammed Khamis Al Othmani, director general of Sharjah Police Academy, said the proposals had the potential to help tackle potential future challenges and enhance the quality of life in the emirate.

“Covering multiple important areas, the total value of the award amounts to $127,000,” he said.

The second and third place winners in both categories received $5,000 and $3,000 respectively.

"This initiative highlights the commitment of Sharjah Police to fostering innovation and harnessing local talent to address future challenges, aligning with the broader vision of the UAE,” said Brig Gen Al Othmani.

Updated: June 03, 2023, 3:00 AM