Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 5th, 2022: CUD’s Mechatronics Engineering student, Lujain Ihsan Alsamhouri, won 2nd place at the “Tourism TechGen Hackathon” finale which took place at Zayed University in Dubai, under the patronage of H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Cabinet Member and United Arab Emirates Minister of Economy: Building Our Future Economy Based on Knowledge and Innovation.
“It has been an inspiring and exciting journey from the very beginning. Working with students from various disciplines enriches creativity and brings completely new elements to the table. This is what happened at the Tourism TeckGen Hackathon. We had participants from management, engineering, and environmental sciences that were elected among hundreds of other applicants.” Dr. Samar Noaman, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Management
The Institutional Lead of the Hackathon Initiative was Prof. Naveed Yasin, CUD Professor of Entrepreneurship and Head of Entrepreneurship and the Creative Industries; and the advisory board comprised of CUD’s Faculty of Management: Dr. Sayed Gilani, Dr. Farooq Haq, and Dr. Samar Noaman. Six hundred students entered the competition and went through a rigorous competition entry process of assessment, a exam and quizzes – of which the top thirty-one students were selected to progress to the competition. In preparation of the competition, the thirty-one students from several UAE universities attended an introduction workshop and were placed into seven teams. Students received a briefing of how to sustainably improve the tourism industry in the United Arab Emirates, through the application of technology solutions – focusing on eco-tourism, a fundamental aspect of the United Nation’s Sustainability Development Goals.
CUD’s Engineering student, Lujain, formed part of a group of students who initiated a mobile application driven to offer key features to enrich the eco-tourism sector of the UAE. The app provides a unique experience for each eco-tourist, by employing artificial intelligence features and non-fungible token (NFT), a unique digital asset recorded in a blockchain to enhance app security and reduce fraud. The NFT certifies authenticity and ownership.
“The application of technological benefits to the eco-tourism industry of the UAE provides an abundance of technological solutions – tailored to impeccable solutions to benefit our country.” Lujain Ihsan Alsamhouri, CUD Student, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering – Mechatronics
Two days of training followed which included seminars and presentations around topics of entrepreneurship, research of the existing tourism industry in UAE, and coaching sessions. The seminars were divided between notable presenters on topics of entrepreneurship and brainstorming sessions for the competition projects – followed by several team building activities between the students. The prep was underway to inspire and encourage the creativity, abilities and skills from talented students.
“Engineering skills, paired with the application technology, produces abilities suited to business models moulded to the concepts applicable to develop business. The culmination of the technological and engineering solutions are geared towards business solutions.” Dr. Tamer Mohamed, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering, Applied Sciences and Technology
Seven teams pitched the eco-tourism projects – Lujain pitched the group project to H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy, and associates, illustrating the key features of the Sustainable Development Goals and solutions showcasing applied technology to improve the eco-tourism industry of the UAE. The competition connected CUD’s student to the distinguished dignitaries within the booming tourism industry of the UAE.
“CUD is really proud of Lujain and her level of confidence while pitching to H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy. This is a real example of how top-notch technologies, such as artificial intelligence, elevate the level of the user experience and business model sustainability.” Dr. Tamer Mohamed, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering, Applied Sciences and Technology
“The pitch day was adrenaline-filled and this excitement remained till the awarding day. This is when the journey was crowned with the trophy and great feelings of content. It has been a remarkable experience on all levels.” Dr. Samar Noaman, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Management
The awards ceremony took place on December 5th, 2022 – Lujain was honoured with 2nd place for her contribution to the project to contribute towards eco-conscious sustainable development goals within the tourism industry of the UAE.
“The competition was a fantastic experience of opportunities for me to embark on a journey with a group of students from other UAE universities. The mentorship from Dr. Tamer and Dr. Samar has been profound in the success of our group. We are very proud to have pitched to H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy, and to have taken a trophy home.” Lujain Ihsan Alsamhouri, CUD Student, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering – Mechatronics