More than 2200 participants and over 315 teams from Qatar and 13 teams from seven countries are competing in the tournament to earn a trip to the global finals in May.

Teams from Qatar opened the four-day event with a parade of over 100 schools at QNCC. The inaugural ceremony was attended by His Excellency Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of ALF, Abdulatif Al Yafei, General Manager of ALF, Ali Mar’e, Executive Director of ALF, Ayed Alqahtani, General Manager of RAF; Mansour Alsaady, Turkish Ambassador, Ahmet Demirok; Dr Hessa Sadiq, Dean of Education College at QU; Dr Chuck Cadle, CEO of DI; and Pamela Schroeder, Chair of Board of Trustees of DI. They were joined by teams from around the globe, including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, Morocco, Poland and USA for the competition. After the ceremony, the VIP guests attended the DI Qatar 2016 Expo opening where they were able to experience activities that instigate innovative learning. The talented sand artist Shayma AlMughairy did an amazing representation of the event in art.

DI is an educational competition where teams compete with each other to solve challenges they are given.

Each one of the eight challenges (Technical, Scientific, Structural, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Service Learning, Early Learning and Instant Challenge) is different from the other, but they all aim to spur creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork spirit among the students.

Stressing on the importance of this educational event, His Excellency Sheikh Faisal said:

The ALF Foundation had the opportunity to bring very talented and creative students to our country. They are able to learn more about our culture and this provided us an opportunity to reinforce the time and energy that these young people have invested in a mind-challenging competition that will better prepare them for high school and college.’

‘We, as the private sector, together with private institutions, charities and foundations are doing our best to come up with ideas that serve and improve our country. We are equally proud of the achievements of both Qatari youth as well as educational system of our nation.’

Mr Abdullatif Al Yafei General Manager for ALF said:

In adopting this program, we are working very hard to achieve the Qatar 2030 Vision, which aims to build an education system that keeps pace with the modern world. This system encourages students to have fun, take risks, focus and frame challenges while incorporating science, technology, engineering, mathematics, the arts and service learning. It is through this unique program that ALF hopes to shed light on the importance of providing an opportunity for students to experience and develop imaginative and original ideas.’

He added:

We also express gratitude that with the directives of His Excellency Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, the Foundation could adopt the implementation of this educational tournament.’

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International visitors are participating in an extreme challenge where they have 24 hours to understand and solve a challenge being faced. Teams this year have to dream, design and build a Creativity Centre inspired by Doha Architecture. They are required to create a blueprint and participate in a mock bartering souq to obtain required materials for building. During the presentation, their metres tall structures had to withstand a simulated Doha sandstorm.

Ali Mar’e, Executive Director of AlF, said:

The event is a success in a number of ways. We have students and teachers from across the globe. So, this year we have the prospect of sending of 220 students from 31 teams to the global finals in the US, as DI has really captured the imagination of schools, students and their parents across the country. We also involved over 100 volunteers to help make this event run smoothly along with 160 appraisers, which shows how widespread this program has become. Further, we have enlisted 20 schools in Jordan to participate in DI, involving students in 60 teams, underlining our commitment to operate across borders.’

Many special participants such as College of the North Atlantic, Build a Bear Workshop, Mad Science, Bricklyn, Nirmala’s Creations, Sheikh Faisal bin Qassem Sports Academy, Girnaas, Youth Art Centre, International Gold Bookshop, Magic Village, Carbon wheels, Schoolastic, Sky dome, Stenden University Qatar, The Little Engineer Qatar, Vetosis QSTP, Compass, High Touch and High Tech, are involved in the DI Qatar 2016 Expo, and they are providing their interesting experiences to the students during the four days.

For more information, visit their Facebook Page.