Bright young things: the top 5 smart inventions from Dubai’s young innovators

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum recently urged Arab youth to evolve, adapt and learn to keep pace with the changing world. The below list, in honour of World International Youth Skills Day, shows how Dubai youth are putting his advice into practice

Adeeb Al Balushi, age 13: numerous inventions

Thirteen-year-old Emirati inventor, Adeeb Al Balushi is on a mission to save and improve people’s lives through innovation. At nine, he invented a light-weight prosthetic for his father and also made a tiny cleaning robot to assist his mum in cleaning hard-to-reach places at home. “I first wanted to help my dad with his medical condition and then I wanted to help my mum. I decided if I could help them both, then I could help the rest of the world,” he told Vision.

He devised a heart-monitor, embedded in the seat belt system that can wirelessly beam health alerts to first responders, a fireproof helmet with a camera system to help see in emergencies and a smart wheelchair for the disabled. In November 2014, he addressed 3,000 delegates at an ITU conference in Busan, Korea. He is one of the youngest inventors in the world and was awarded the Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance

Priyanka Praseed, age 12: balcony alarm

After moving to Dubai from India Priyanka Praseed became highly integrated into her new community, attempting to solve what she saw as problems in the city. She called into the radio to raise awareness about road safety during Ramadan, and also devised and ingenious solution to protect children living in high-rise flats with balconies.

Writing to the Dubai Municipality Building Division, the Grade 7 student described an inexpensive alarm that alerts parents when their child approaches a balcony or open window.

She is now waiting for an appointment to present the ‘fall alarm’ to Dubai Civil Defense.

young Dubai inventors
Tariq Gharib Jume and Khalifa Al Nuaemi with their tyre-changing innovation

Tariq Gharib Jume, 20: tyre-changing innovation

The Dubai-based Mechanical Engineering student and his colleague Khalifa Al Nuaemi from Khalifa University took third place at a science fair in Barcelona for their novel invention, which makes changing a flat tyre simpler.

The Higher Colleges of Technology Dubai Men’s College (DMC) second-year student, and his colleague from Khalifa University, took to the International Movement for Leisure Activities in Science and Technology, to compete as the Emirates Science Club, against more than 200 male and female students from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and Australia.

The so-called ‘Deconstructed Overbalance Wheel & Automatic Car Lift Machine’, uses the compressed air cylinder in the car’s conditioner to lift the side of the car so as to remove and replace the tyre with minimal effort.

“My colleague and I designed the hydraulic device that works to lift the car side with the damaged tyre by means of the compressed air loads, without the need to use traditional jacks that increase the effort and waste a lot of time to replace the tyre,” Tariq said.

“In the United Arab Emirates, we have tough summer weather with high temperatures, which makes it difficult for drivers, who face tyre breakdowns while driving, to fix the problem immediately and continue their way. That’s why we find our scientific project a great human service, as it reduces effort which causes wasting a lot of time, and reduces the need to leave the car on the road side for a long time which impedes traffic and creates serious problems,” he added.

Aisha Al Zarooni, 17, Shahed Al Hoot, 16, and Meera Al Hashmi, 16: fireproof foam

Three teenagers are hoping that their environmentally friendly and fireproof foam made from wood will soon be used in the construction industry.

After seeing the New Year’s fire at the Address Hotel in Downtown Dubai, three private-school teenagers decided to put their education to use. Aisha Al Zarooni, 17, Shahed Al Hoot, 16, and Meera Al Hashmi, 16, who all attend Al Ittihad Private School Jumeirah, researched the cause of fires in the UAE.

They found that the heat-insulating materials used in towers, made from a plastic sprayed foam, use a large amount of petrochemicals that will quicken flames if the building was to experience a fire.

The foam they created with the aim of replacing the current insulation material is made from expandable wood: eco friendly, cheaper and more effective than materials used currently, said the girls’ chemistry teacher Ms Charab to the National. 

Ma’oza Ali and Fi’ee Mahmud, age 8: car umbrella

At the UAE Drones for Good Awards, the youngest participants were Ma’oza Ali and Fi’ee Mahmud, both 8. They thought up the idea of a car umbrella-esque device, with the aim of lessening the sun exposure on vehicles during the summer months.