UAE Cyber Quest 2014, a student outreach program organised by National Electronic Security Authority (NESA) and in partnership the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), concluded in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre (ADNEC). The five month information security education program culminated in a two day elimination competition on May 27th - 28th which saw ten teams of three high school Emirati students compete in a series of information technology and cybersecurity related challenges.
Only four teams progressed through to the final day of the competition with the team from Al Hosn School, Abu Dhabi led by their teacher Suheil Abdul Mohammed Abdul Khader Eng. eventually running out as winners and claiming the first ever 'UAE Cyber Quest 2014 Winners' title. A team from Al Maqam School led by Essam Shaaban Abdul Imam, a team from Al Dahma School led by Muammar Abdh and another team from Al Maqam School led by Shady Ismail finished in second, third and fourth place respectively.
"As organizers of UAE Cyber Quest, we have truly been overwhelmed with the level of enthusiasm displayed by everyone involved. The success of the first edition certainly bodes well for the program's future and we look forward to engaging with even more schools right across the country for Cyber Quest UAE 2015. The feedback we received from the teachers, parents and of course the students themselves has been positive and we have certainly succeeded in our mission to place information security front and center of the UAE education agenda," said Zayed Al-Otaiba, PhD, Executive Director of Talent Development.
"On behalf of NESA I would like to issue a message of appreciation to ADEC for their support throughout the entire process of UAE Cyber Quest and to all the schools, teachers and students who took part. I would also like to congratulate the winners of the 2014 edition and applaud all participating students for showcasing a level of technological skill that exceeded expectation," he added.
Over one hundred students, twelve teachers and six Abu Dhabi and Al Ain based schools were involved with the project to date with NESA confirming that the 2015 edition of UAE Cyber Quest will include additional schools from across the UAE.
"UAE Cyber Quest has shown us all is that the next generation of Emiratis are already very technology savvy and have a real interest in digital systems. This ability coupled with a genuine enthusiasm for ICT comes as welcome news for the future of our nation as we collectively look to accelerate the development of a UAE digital economy," said Dr. Najla Al Raway Al Naqbi, eLearning Manager at ADEC.
"ADEC applauds NESA for having the foresight to create an educational program that speaks directly to both the interests of Emirati youth and the needs of the national economy. The students involved engaged with the project right from the very start and the experience they have gained will, without doubt, strengthen their academic performance in their current studies and augment their position in the increasingly digital modern world," she added.
UAE Cyber Quest 2014 has been well documented across social media and in particular, on the competition's official Instagram ('@UAECyberQuest') and Twitter ('@UAECyberQuest') handles. The 'UAE Cyber Quest 2015' competition is expected to be on a larger scale with hundreds of teachers and students participating from schools located across the UAE.