UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has launched the One Million Arab Coders initiative, as part of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) foundation. The initiative seeks to equip young Arabs with the tools to build their future, starting with fluency in coding and programming. It will also provide Arabs with employment opportunities, and empower them with the skills needed to contribute to the development of the digital economy.
At the launch, His Highness said, “Coding is the language of the modern era. Our goal is to teach it to one million young Arabs, in order to prepare them now for the requirements needed to excel in the future.” He continued, “Coding will create many job opportunities for young people to compete for remotely; it will pave the way for them to participate in the global economy online, from home.”
He added, “This project is part of MBRGI’s mission to spread hope in the region, create employment opportunities and give our youth the skills needed for them to successfully lead our region into the future. From the world’s leading companies to the global economy itself, programming is the future, and we will support one million young Arabs so they can be an active part of this economic opportunity.”
“I invite young Arabs to register today at www.arabcoders.ae for free training, in cooperation with the best international companies. We will have incentives over $1 million to award the top students and tutors. Many young Arabs have unstoppable potential; all they need is support. We hope this will be the first step in a journey that takes our region toward a brighter future,” he said. His Highness concluded, “We will not stop launching projects and initiatives to support our Arab communities because the stability of our region relies on it. MBRGI has launched over 1,400 projects and 33 institutions dedicated solely to spreading hope and building the future of the Arab world.”
The One Million Arab Coders initiative, managed by the Dubai Future Foundation, aims to empower one million young Arabs in the Middle East by training them, enriching their knowledge, improving their skills, providing them with jobs in the modern tech sector, and increasing their expertise in advanced science. This initiative is the first step to mastering coding, which will be crucial to meeting the requirements of the future digital economy.
The initiative is part of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision to revive the Arab civilisation, and spread hope in the region through innovative and positive change. Young Arabs, who make up the largest portion of Arab communities, are the main target of this initiative, which seeks to instil hope among them, and to invest in them so that they may build globally competitive communities on the solid pillars of knowledge and innovation.
In addition to providing unparalleled training opportunities for free to young people in the region, the One Million Arab Coders initiative will reward top students and tutors with incentives exceeding $1 million.
The One Million Arab Coders initiative will consist of three stages implemented over two years. The first stage includes registering to join one of two categories – Arab students or tutors from across the word. This stage can be completed through registration online at arabcoders.ae. Stage two requires applicants to complete several three-month virtual coding programmes. The top 1000 students will then be selected; they will receive certificates, and will be enrolled in the Coder Challenge. Stage three will involve the top 1,000 coders, who will compete in the Coder Challenge for the top spot. At the end, the top ten students will be announced; the first-place winner will receive the grand prize of $1,000,000, while the remaining nine will be awarded $50,000 each. The top four tutors, as voted by the students, will win $200,000 each.
The platform provides a specialized and integrated curriculum in computer science and programming, consisting of three months of training courses in cooperation with the world’s leading educational institutions and international companies.
Focus on Arab Youth
The One Million Arab Coders initiative targets young Arabs because they are a vital component of Arab communities. Studies show that 50% of the Arab population is under 25 years old, and that 39% aspire to establish their own businesses over the next five years. Meanwhile, unemployment rates among capable and ambitious young Arabs is up to 28%, which is one of the highest in the world. This initiative will support young Arabs, and give them the knowledge that empowers them to thrive in the IT sector. It is projected that by 2020, there will be 80 million jobs available in various IT sectors – this initiative seeks to carve out a space for Arabs to become part of that.
The initiative will also enable young Arab innovators to play a key role in Smart Government, E-Commerce and IT. The E-Commerce sector has become a global $15 billion industry, while the IT sector has reached $3 billion in the Arab world alone, and is growing at an annual rate of 12%.
Dubai Future Foundation was launched to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Dubai, especially in advanced technology. The foundation is part of MBRGI, which includes 33 institutions implementing over 1,400 development initiatives and humanitarian programmes, and which has supporting over 130 institutions, government bodies, private sector entities and regional and international organisations.