The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) government announced "The Blockathon Social Competition", reported the country’s official news agency yesterday. It’s the latest initiative from a country aiming to make the city of Dubai the world’s first “Blockchain City”.

The competition was announced by the Ministry of Community Development (MOCD) during GITEX Technology Week 2019, a technology conference taking place in Dubai. 

As part of the competition, teams of software developers and UI/UX developers will compete for the first prize of 30,000 AED ($8,200), awarded to the team who creates the best blockchain social enterprise project. The second prize will receive 20,000 AED ($5,400), and the third, 10,000 AED ($2,700). 

The deadline for submissions is February 1, 2020, and winners will be announced later on in the month. Amongst other criteria, applicants will be judged on accuracy, innovation, security, scalability, and connectivity.

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All applicants, however, will have to hand over intellectual property rights to the MOCD. In fact, Saeed Abdulla, information technology advisor at the Ministry of Community Development, said the Blockathon Social Competition is designed to “enhance the ministry’s objectives”, which stem from the country’s UAE 2021 vision and 2071 centennial goals. 

According to the UAE’s website, this is about turning the UAE into a “competitive knowledge-based economy” and adding “high-value sectors”. Last year, the UAE announced plans to recognize crypto as a security sometime in 2019, which would make it easier for companies to register ICOs. Yet no news has surfaced confirming the regulations. 

If Dubai wants to meet its ambition of being the “World’s Blockchain City”, it better get a move on.