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Emirates NBD and Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation Announce Winners of 'Project Design Space' Challenge

Emirates NBD, a premier banking group in the MENAT region, proudly announced the winners of its challenge in the 2024 Project Design Space (PDS). In collaboration with the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI), this initiative highlights Emirates NBD's dedication to fostering innovation and nurturing future regional talent through creative problem-solving within the financial services sector.

Recognized as the UAE’s largest design competition for high school students, PDS provides a dynamic platform for young innovators to tackle real-world challenges set by industry leaders. This year, Emirates NBD partnered with DIDI to promote design thinking and explore innovative user experience (UX) solutions that inspire and empower customers. The competition saw aspiring student designers from the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge’s (ADEK) RizeUp program and Bon Education, an educational consultancy, develop AI-powered banking solutions to deliver seamless customer experiences.

2024 Project Design Space – Emirates NBD Challenge Winners

Gold Category: Aisha Bint Abi Baker School

  • AI-powered financial education app to empower users to achieve their financial goals.

Silver Category: Abu Dhabi Indian School

  • Financial wellbeing-focused app tracking financial targets with budgeting and debt management.

Most Innovative: Applied Technology Schools

  • TBMECA user-friendly, in-built rewards system for savings incentivized with personalized gift cards integrated into the existing ENBD X mobile banking app.

Saud Al Dhawyani, Group Chief Platforms Officer at Emirates NBD, commented: “As a leading financial services brand, Emirates NBD is committed to shaping the future of banking and helping customers achieve their goals through innovative and empowering digital banking solutions. Our participation in DIDI’s Project Design Space aligns with our mission to nurture promising students by providing a platform to advance their skills in developing tech solutions for real-life challenges. We are immensely proud of the young changemakers whose groundbreaking AI concepts and bold ideas will drive positive change for Emirates NBD’s customers and stakeholders.”

Hani Asfour, Vice President of Innovation and Institutional Partnerships at DIDI, added: “Skilled, solution-oriented designers are essential as we shape a digital, inclusive, and sustainable future. DIDI’s partnership with Emirates NBD for this year’s Project Design Space bridges academia and the private sector, ensuring students benefit from industry insights and experiences. By doing so, we equip youth to collaborate, think innovatively, and develop impactful solutions for real-world challenges, benefiting their careers and empowering the world with experienced innovators, creators, and entrepreneurs.”

The 2024 edition of PDS, running from January to May, engaged over 350 students from Abu Dhabi schools recruited by DIDI. Participants tackled challenges set by Emirates NBD, LG, and TAQA, with a focus on AI-powered solutions to empower customers. The students received specialized training and guidance to design innovative solutions for Emirates NBD’s customers. Each team presented a three-minute video pitch showcasing their working prototype, key research findings, and how their design enhances the customer journey and user experience. The top eight teams, recognized for their design thinking, collaboration, and innovation, advanced to a virtual boot camp and presented their final prototypes to a panel of judges from Emirates NBD, LG, and TAQA.

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