Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has hailed the nation's digital drive after announcing a UAE day dedicated to coding is to become a worldwide event.
Sheikh Mohammed said Unesco – the UN's education, science and culture agency – is to make October 29 an international day of coding.
He established that as the date to honour the contributions of the coding community, called UAE Codes, in 2021.
He said the date has great significance in the UAE, also coinciding with the foundation of Dubai Internet City in 1999.
Sheikh Mohammed said Unesco had also agreed to the UAE's proposal to observe an international day for digital education on March 19 each year.
The Emirates has been at the forefront of efforts to embrace new technologies to fast-track its development and prepare generations for workplace evolution.
“In a new global initiative for the UAE, Unesco today adopts an Emirati proposal to make October 29 (the day we launched Dubai Internet City) an international day of programming and March 19 an international day for digital education,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Friday.
He said computer programming had become a 'fundamental focus” in the UAE, while digital education was a “fundamental axis in scientific development”.
Cracking the code
Sheikh Mohammed has been a long-standing supporter of coding.
The One Million Arab Coders initiative was launched in 2017 to equip young people with the skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.
The Emirates unveiled the National Programme for Coders in July 2021, in collaboration with technology companies including Google, Amazon and Microsoft, to bolster coding skills, particularly among young people.
It aims to train 100,000 coders and establish 1,000 technology companies that will go global and increase start-up investments from Dh1.5 billion to Dh4bn, Sheikh Mohammed said at the time.
In October 2021, Abu Dhabi opened a coding school without teachers or classrooms.
The coding school is part of the 42 Network and is the first of its branches to open in the Arabian Gulf.
Writing code, building computer software and creating mobile applications are among the most sought-after skills in the future global job market.