ABU DHABI, 12th November 2016 (WAM) – The award-winning Abu Dhabi Science Festival (ADSF), held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and organized by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), has announced that 40% of this year’s fun-filled activities and workshops will be provided by local companies.

The 10-day extravaganza, now in its sixth year and one of the biggest and most prestigious in the region, will be staged at the Umm Al Emarat Park in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Zoo from 17-26 November, 2016.

The ADSF continues to host locally inspired activities that add cultural relevance to the visitor experience and is based on Abu Dhabi’s key industry needs. The areas of science covered by the Festival’s local content partners, demonstrates the wealth of inspirational ideas that exist with exciting events from a prestigious roll call of entities including Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi University, Emirates Foundation, Family Development Foundation, New York University Abu Dhabi, Al Sadeem Astronomy, Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and Bidaya Media.

Sanad Humaid Ahmed, Chairman of the Innovation Committee and Acting Division Manager- Knowledge Management Division at ADEC said: “Science, technology and innovation are key pillars of the creation of a knowledge economy in the UAE. We take the education of our nation’s youth very seriously and we believe that engaging with them from an early age, especially through fun and exciting activities such as those on offer at ADSF, will empower them with the right skills and attitudes for tomorrow’s crucial key industry needs.”

He added: “We are actively working to support the growth of STEM education companies in the UAE. I am pleased to let you know that this year more than 40% of our content comes from companies and organizations locally based in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”

The event, which is part of the UAE Innovation Week, has increased this year by 20% with significantly more drop-in activities. There will be 67 activities in total – this is up from last year’s 56 activities.

For budding bankers and future investors, the Esref Sah Workshop provided by the Emirates Foundation uses fun games to help people appreciate the value of money and to deal effectively with debt, financial planning and personal money management.

Commenting on their participation, Maytha Al Habsi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Emirates Foundation said: “The Abu Dhabi Science Festival provides a unique opportunity for Emirati youth to showcase their talent in science and technology, develop knowledge and share expertise and most importantly be part of the UAE’s growth today and in the future.” She explained that such initiatives are aligned with Emirates Foundation mission and compliment their efforts to provide youth with a platform to deploy new technologies and unlock their creativity in Science, technology and innovation (STI).”

Al Habsi further elaborated: “Through our Think Science program, we aim to inspire young scientific talent to consider science as both a study and a career option by showcasing the employment opportunities they could potentially gain. The program provides young scientists with skills and knowledge to meet the growing needs of industry while also nurturing their personal and professional development. Equally it helps private sector companies interested in STI talent showcase their employee value proposition and access a pool of relevant and high quality young Emiratis.”

Al Habsi also added: “Through our Esref Sah engagement at the Fair, we also aim to train attending youth on adopting positive financial behavior and support them build skills to advance their economic progress.” Designpod UAE will have visitors watching in awe as amazing abstract patterns appear before their eyes after using salt or wax with water colours. And that’s not all – people will be able to create their own special bookmark or greetings card to take away.

Some of the other local content on offer, developed with the distinguished partners across the UAE to encourage youngsters to engage with science and technology, includes the Small Inspector Workshop provided by the Abu Dhabi Food Control (ADFCA). This is a unique experience designed to help kids and parents understand and appreciate the importance of food safety. As visitors stroll through the ADFC’s special on-site grocery store, they will inspect items and decide what is and what isn’t safe to eat.

Thamer Rashed Al Qasemi, Projects Management Director and Acting Communication & Community Services Director – Strategy & Performance Sector at ADFCA said: “Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, in line with its community development policy and plan, is keen on involving and supporting initiatives that aims to develop young generation by providing them opportunity to explore the world of science and related disciplines.

ADFCA is extremely proud to be part of the event for the second time consecutively and to contribute in the efforts to bring up a generation who are armed with latest knowledge and technology that enable them to meet the requirements of the nation in varied fields and to be fit for the job market locally and globally. We believe that this event is exceptionally important when the nation is preparing to scale new heights in the field of nuclear energy, space and high-tech agriculture. It is important that when the leadership is visualizing new horizons of development and progress for the nation in line with the requirements of knowledge economy, there should be enough opportunities for the youth and students to expand their knowledge and develop their skills which is the prime objective of the upcoming ten-day Science Festival”.

You might need to take your earplugs to the Spinning Noise Maker workshop, also provided by Designpod UAE, where people get up-close and personal with the science of sound. Participants can make their own colourful spinning noise maker and compete with their friends to see who can make the biggest racket.

The Al Ain Zoo activities will increase this year, with a wider array of shows and workshops including the jaw-dropping Animal Dentist workshop, where visitors will learn all about how animals use their teeth for killing, chopping, slicing and chewing.