More than 250,000 programmers have applied for the 100,000 open seats of the 'one million Arab coders' programme. The initiative has attracted more than 750,000 applications from the Arab world since its inception in October last year.
Launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the programme seeks to help one million young Arab programmers hone their digital and coding skills.
The applicants will be sorted into eight annual rounds, with four academic courses in each round: Smart applications development (35 per cent of the applications); website programming (33 per cent); data analysis (18 per cent); and smart website design (14 per cent).
To further support the programme, the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) has signed a partnership agreement with job site Bayt.com. The agreement was signed in the presence of Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence (AI), Member of the DFF's board of trustees and Deputy Managing Director of the foundation, and Rabea Ataya, Founder and CEO of Bayt.com.
"The 'one million Arab coders' is a landmark initiative to empower the Arab youth and help them acquire the skills of the future," said Al Olama. "This embodies the vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid in developing the knowledge and skills of young people in the Arab region, keeping them up to speed with the rapidly changing demands of the labour market of the future, where programming is set to be at the core of every sector.
"With this partnership with Bayt.com, the DFF is looking to broaden the horizons of employment for programmers. It will provide an enabling environment for them to imagine and build their own future by mastering next-generation technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, cognitive and biological sciences, and programming."
Ataya said: "We are proud to be partnering with the one million Arab coders programme - the first initiative of its kind targeting Arab youth around the world. We are committed to playing our part and offering all the necessary support for their goals and aspirations, and look forward to collaborating with the DFF to empower a generation of knowledgeable, qualified and future- ready Arab youth."
The One Million Arab Coders is one of the initiatives that seek to realise the UAE Centennial 2071 vision to put the UAE ahead of all other nations by supporting sustainable development, increasing the number of patents and supporting science and innovation.
Training for the programme will be free and the top students and tutors will get incentives of over $1 million.
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, Sheikh Mohammed had 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.
"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."