Business & Finance

UAE Ministry Launches Blockchain Competition with Rewards Up to $8,000

The United Arab Emirates has been at the forefront of accepting and employing the blockchain technology throughout various ecosystems of different industries. Now the country’s Ministry of Community Development (MOCD) is all set to host a competition for developing blockchain software in the social sector.

According to reports by the country’s official news agency, Emirates News Agency the blockchain competition dubbed the ‘Social Blockathon’ will encourage and provide a platform for the development of blockchain-centric applications, which the MOCD hopes will eventually be applied for educational, social and recreational purposes.

The MOCD, as per its website, seeks to improve the social development in Emirates by achieving the objectives of the national agenda for Emirates Vision 2021. It is responsible for developing and implementing social policies and their legislation, all the while also overseeing social welfare institutions in the country.

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The Social Blockathon was announced by the MOCD during GITEX Technology Week held at the Dubai World Trade Center, which started on Oct. 6 and will continue till Oct. 10. The conference is built around bringing together two important aspects of the blockchain space; the developed tech titans and the budding startups. The discussions, as per the GITEX website, are going to be revolving around topics like 5G technology, smart cities, startups and FinTech amongst others.

In the competition, the contestants will be given the challenge of developing and engineering application enabled by the blockchain technology, within a limited time frame. However, the rules of the Social Blockathon dictate that participants will not be allowed to use any predesigned software and applications.

There are certain topics, on which the theme of the competition is based on including: blockchain solutions for various use cases, applications for people of determination, applications of senior citizens, social awareness applications, social care applications, family applications.

The report revealed that submissions for the contest are open till 1st February 2020. What makes the competition even more exciting, especially for blockchain startups, is that the Social Blockathon was announced with a total prize fund of  $16,300.

Furthermore, the winners of the contest will be rewarded in the country’s fiat currency, Dirham (AED), whereby the prize for the first-place winner is set at 30,000 AED, which is equivalent to $8,200. While contestants emerging in second and third place will be receiving a cash prize worth 20,000 AED ($5,400) and 10,000 AED ($2,700) respectively.

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The outcome of the competition will be announced next year, later in February as well during the UAE Innovation Month. The judging criteria for the competition, as per the report, will be based on accuracy, security, innovation and application, easy usage, scalability and connectivity with other applications and systems, as well as the quality of the final report and presentation. As for the rights of the developed applications, the report explained:

The intellectual rights of the participating applications are for the party that proposed it, while the intellectual property rights of the participating and winning applications, are owned by the Ministry of Community Development.

Saeed Abdulla, Information Technology Advisor at the MOCD, emphasized that the Blockathon is open for all community members. According to him, this will open the doors for more community development ideas in smart applications, which in turn will enhance the ministry’s objectives in providing proactive community services and support sustainable community development visions.

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UAE & Blockchain Technology

Dubai, UAE has emerged as one of the few cities that aspire to lead the blockchain space. It has become the first city fully powered by blockchain with all bill payments, license renewals, and visa applications, that makes up to 100 million documents a year, to be transacted digitally via blockchain by 2020.

In addition to that, last year, in April the local government launched the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021, the aim of which is to capitalize on blockchain technology in order to transform 50 percent of government transactions into the blockchain platform by 2021. Its crystal clear that UAE has put peddle to the metal and is going full speed towards achieving all of its blockchain centric goals.

Abeer Anwaar

Abeer holds a Bachelors degree in Media studies and covers blockchain startups for BlockPublisher. An optimist, excels in the art of the written word and swears by the joy of all things sweet. Contact the editor at

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