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Author(s): Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA)

Resource Type: Case studies

Countries: United Arab Emirates

SDG: GOAL 16. Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Keywords: Open Data, Hackathon


UAE Hackathon

Data for Happiness and Wellbeing

Source in English:     ESCWA-OECD Case Study - UAE Hackathon - Data for Happiness and Wellbeing

The UAE Hackathon aims at using existing data to develop innovative solutions and ideas that address key challenges and contribute to enhancing happiness and well-being in the seven emirates.   It is part of the efforts to promote digital transformation and an integral part of the national innovation strategy.   Participation in the UAE Hackathon is open to all who have ideas for making things better.   Since 2018, a number of editions of the Hackathon were held covering special themes, including: digital transformation, financial technologies, environment and climate change, security safety and justice, smart sustainable cities, entertainment and e-sports, travel and tourism, education, healthcare, and work efficiency and productivity.

Implementation: Starting from 2018


Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA)


The UAE Hackathon aims to draw attention to the importance of data and the solutions inherent within it when addressing challenges related to economic, social, environmental and scientific aspects.


The Hackathon enables communities to use real and open data for developing solutions under specific themes and challenges, and it offers a number of opportunities:

  • Participation in the generation of new innovative ideas and technological solutions that help to spread happiness and better life.
  • Identification of innovative solutions that operate within the rapid change in technologies.
  • Promotion of knowledge and innovation in the use of existing data towards enhancing competencies of youth.
  • Supporting winners in converting their ideas to projects.


Beneficiaries include government organizations, universities, technology companies, residents, and the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.


Since 2018, around 6000 persons participated in the Hackathons, in approximately 750 teams.  Participants relied on existing datasets to develop creative ideas that respond to existing challenges, resulting with around 270 innovative ideas that received interest of various organizations and technology companies.  It is expected that the UAE Hackathon will attract more participants and result with an increase in innovative ideas and solutions.


The challenges are related to managing internal operations with a large number of participants in seven hackathons, as well as to the number and quality of the existing datasets shared through the official open data portal (

Useful links

UAE Hackathon
UAE Open Data Portal


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