The inaugural MENA Grad Show presented 50 social impact innovation projects in the fields of technology, science and design from universities across the region.

The new exhibition, a key programme of Dubai Design Week, showcased 50 of the most exciting social impact innovation projects from students studying in universities across the Middle East and North Africa region. Having received more than 200 submissions from 36 universities the exhibition spotlighted some of the most exciting projects focused on solutions to improve and transform lives in the fields of technology, science and design.

Examples of projects included:

  • A biodegradable leather alternative produced through fermentation process, by Amal Hassan Alsuwaidi, Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, UAE
  • A microwave-enabled monitor to reduce water loss in pipelines by 50%, by Muhammad Akram Karimi, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, KSA
  • An alternative to concrete using palm tree waste, by Green Team, University of Buraimi, Oman
  • A low-cost solar powered lighting unit for rural communities, by Shahd Amr Saad, German University in Cairo, Egypt

The physical exhibition allowed visitors to meet the graduates and learn about the ideas behind their work through an interactive film and also understand how students in different disciplines, from architecture to chemistry and electric engineering, approach complex social and environmental problems.

The exhibition was free to attend and was also presented digitally on from the 9th November 2020.

The MENA Grad Show is held under the patronage Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and member of the Dubai Council, and is in partnership with A.R.M holding and Dubai Culture.

It is part of the Global Grad Show, an Art Dubai Group initiative, that provides a year-round programme for graduates and universities working on Social Impact Innovation projects. Since 2015, Global Grad Show has built a community of over 300 universities across the world that includes the leading international institutions alongside those from developing countries. The programme offers students the opportunity to showcase their work on the global stage, take part in an entrepreneurship programme providing the basic understanding of business, and apply for funding for the early development stage of projects