LONDON // Even the gloomy British weather is a source of inspiration for the 10-year-old Emirati inventor, Adeeb Al Blooshi.
The young scientist is on a world tour to help him build on his previous inventions, which include a prosthetic limb for his father and a housework robot for his mother.
Because of his work he was named by CNN as among the world’s most impressive young medical pioneers.
But during Adeeb’s visit to London, where he met the UAE’s ambassador to the UK on Wednesday, his inventor’s mind was in overdrive over one of the country’s most humdrum problems: the rain.
Caught in a downpour in the UK capital, Adeeb’s sister Dana was holding an umbrella that blew inside out due to the strong wind.
That got Adeeb thinking about designs for a truly weatherproof umbrella, of a different shape and made of two layers and stronger metal.
“They didn’t sell umbrellas that have protection against the wind,” he said. “I’m actually working on that. But then again, in Dubai it’s not going to make much sense. We barely have any rain. We have too much sun.”
Adeeb is partway through a tour of seven countries to visit various science and research centres, which has been sponsored by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai.
Sheikh Hamdan has assigned the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology to follow Adeeb’s progress on his travels.
The boy, who holds seven scientific patents and has received more than 100 certificates and awards, is a member of the Arab Robotics Association and an ambassador of the Emirates Identity Authority, where his father Sulaiman works.
He has already visited Germany, Italy, France and the United States, and is due to travel to Vietnam this year, where he will pick up an honour from Interpol, the international police agency, for his work.
“I’ve found out a lot. The tour is currently helping me a lot with information. I think when I’m done with the tour, I’m going to be able to offer my country a lot more,” he said.
In the US he attended space camp at the Space and Rocket Centre in Alabama. “The camp in general was really useful. I learnt a lot about space. It was also a lot of fun. We built rockets. Not firework rockets – manually launched rockets,” he said.
While the needs of his parents inspired his first two inventions, Adeeb is looking at broader problems to solve in the future.
He is looking at a smart fireman’s helmet with a built-in camera, inspired by a tragic story from his homeland.
“I read about a Dubai fireman who had died, and I didn’t like the fact that he’d died at all. I thought, why did no one save him, and why did he die?” he said.
But while he is only 10, Adeeb is too savvy to give away all his ideas to journalists.
“I can tell you about a few of my inventions, but I can’t really say too much to the media because of copyright issues,” he said.
The UAE’s ambassador to the UK, Abdulrahman Almutaiwee, presented Adeeb with a sand sculpture-framed image when he met the Al Blooshi family on Wednesday.
“I am very proud of having such a genius child who comes from my country,” Mr Almutaiwee said.
“There’s no doubt that his skills are uncomparable with other boys of his age. Thank God that we have someone like Adeeb.”
Adeeb’s father, Sulaiman, praised Sheikh Hamdan’s support.
“Everything Adeeb is doing, it will be for his country,” he said.
“Sometimes I am afraid about it, because he’s thinking bigger than his age. But when I’m sitting with him, and he’s explaining what he wants and what is his dream. Really, I am very happy.”
Adeeb says that he will continue to look for solutions to the big problems in life. “I want my inventions to be used for the good of humanity, that’s all I want for them,” he said. “I basically do that to help mankind, to make mankind more advanced.”
But it’s not all work for the young student at Gems Wellington School in Dubai.
“I don’t really like to combine the inventions with my personal life. [My school friends do] ask me, and when they do I answer them,” he said. “But then again, we’re all busy playing football.”