His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, has inaugurated innovative new coding school 42 Abu Dhabi. During his visit, His Highness took a tour of the purpose-built campus in Mina Zayed.

Joining His Highness were His Excellency Hussain Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education; Her Excellency Sara Musallam, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge; His Excellency Mohammad Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development; His Excellency Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Executive Office; His Excellency Amer Hussain Al Hammadi, Undersecretary of ADEK; Homaid Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Corporate and Human Capital Officer at Mubadala; and His Excellency Xavier Chatel, French Ambassador to the UAE.

42 Abu Dhabi is the first GCC campus of the internationally renowned 42 Network of coding schools, which opened its inaugural campus in Paris in 2013. 42 Abu Dhabi has been established in partnership with Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) under the Ghadan 21 accelerator programme.

During the tour, the inauguration delegation group witnessed 42 Abu Dhabi’s collaborative learning methods. They also met the school’s management and students of the programme’s inaugural cohort.

Commenting on the inauguration, His Highness said: “As part of Abu Dhabi’s vision to foster a diverse, inclusive and world-leading education ecosystem, 42 Abu Dhabi represents a new milestone in our leadership’s strategy to nurture tomorrow’s leaders today. This pioneering new school will provide an additional educational platform to build digital skills and a homegrown, future-ready workforce equipped to lead the technology-driven economy of the 21st century.”

42 Abu Dhabi’s tuition-free model is rooted in a peer-to-peer learning methodology that creates flexible learning pathways via a project-based, gamified approach. Open 24 hours a day, and offering its programmes free of charge, the school aims to cultivate creativity, collaboration and self-discipline by giving students ownership of their learning without classrooms or teachers. The school has been given initial accreditation by the National Qualification Centre. To date, the 42 Network’s disruptive curriculum has equipped more than 12,000 students around the world with essential digital and business skills.

His Excellency Hussain Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education, said: “42 Abu Dhabi reflects Abu Dhabi government’s commitment to developing a digitally aware and technology-driven generation of young professionals who are not only technically skilled, but are also pushing the boundaries of digital innovation. Our leadership provides unprecedented support to UAE youth by creating opportunities that nurture local talents and develop their capabilities to master future digital skills and meet the growing requirements of this domain. As a result, this paves the way to building a generation equipped with specialised knowledge and expertise, especially in the fields of digital transformation, digital economy, and entrepreneurship which top the UAE priorities as accelerators to the transition to sustainable knowledge-based economy”.

H.E Sara Musallam, Chairman of ADEK, commented: “42 Abu Dhabi is critical to the strategic development of our region’s tech talent and Abu Dhabi’s mission to build a future-ready, human capital pipeline that will contribute to our leadership’s vision of a secure and confident society that is competitive, sustainable and open. Coding is no longer reserved for ICT specialists; it is a universal language we must all speak to navigate the convergence of technology across industries operating in the global digital economy.”

As part of the selection process for 42 Abu Dhabi’s inaugural cohort, 401 candidates took part in a trio of pre-selection ‘Piscines’ between May and August. A pool of 225 candidates successfully passed the 26-day immersive tests of motivation, endurance, and commitment, and joined 42 Abu Dhabi on 26 September 2021.

UAE nationals comprise 43 per cent of the inaugural cohort. Of the UAE national candidates, almost three quarters (70% per cent) are women. Expatriate student enrolment stands at 57 per cent. Almost all (93 per cent) of the students live in the UAE. Of the total number of students, 60 per cent are men, and 40 per cent women. More than three quarters (81 per cent) are aged 18-30.

42 Abu Dhabi represents a new chapter in the UAE-France Strategic Dialogue, further strengthening the two nations’ bilateral cooperation and knowledge exchange across mutual areas of interest including culture, education, advanced sciences, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, medtech and agtech.

H.E Xavier Chatel, French Ambassador to the UAE, added: “42 Abu Dhabi embodies the ambitious and bold vision shared by our two nations. France and the UAE are determined to explore new opportunities of co-operation in many fields, none more important than education and new technologies. I am sure that 42 Abu Dhabi will deliver an innovative benchmark to further enhance our nations’ productive bilateral relations for years to come. I want to seize this opportunity to warmly thank ADEK for trusting the disruptive France-born 42 Network in order to build a new generation of UAE-based coders.”

Candidates interested in applying to 42 Abu Dhabi must be aged 18 and above and require no previous coding experience. Enrolment requires registration and an online pre-selection assessment that evaluates cognitive capacity via logic and memory tests. Successful pre-selection candidates are then invited to the ‘Piscine’, from which candidates will be invited to join the programme. For more information, visit www.42AbuDhabi.ae