01 March 2016

Emirates Islamic, one of the leading Islamic financial institutions in the UAE, today announced the winners of 'EI Appathon', a 24-hour challenge for students and professionals from around the UAE to develop unique and innovative apps.

EI Appathon by Emirates Islamic is a festival of innovation offering mobile app developers a platform to present their big ideas on financial technology. UAE's leading technology firms including Microsoft, Oracle, Hewlett Packard, GDG Dubai (Google Developer Groups) as well as Dubai Customs were key partners of the event.

63 teams, comprising 176 participants, were given 24 hours to develop actual apps – iOS, Android or Windows - based on banking themes announced on the day of the competition. After a gruelling 24-hours of hard work and determined effort, the winners were selected by a judging panel comprising senior management from the partners as well as Emirates Islamic. The winners walked away with a grand prize of AED10,000 each for professionals and students, along with a range of rewards from the event partners.

The winners in the Professional category developed the extremely innovative 'ShopUp' app, which bridges the gap between offline and online retailers, while the student winners developed the 'iEarn' app, which teaches children the value of earned money.

While handing over the awards to the winners, Jamal Bin Ghalaita, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Islamic, said: "Emirates Islamic is proud to organise the EI Appathon, a competition to uncover real talent in the UAE. I am extremely pleased that we have been able to provide a creative environment for these passionate developers and now look forward to supporting the actual implementation of the winning apps in a corporate environment. At Emirates Islamic, we are committed to driving innovations in all walks of life and we look forward to organising similar events in the future.

"Dubai aims to be the smartest city in the world, as per the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. In organising the EI Appathon, we are tapping potential among the youth in our community who will be instrumental in driving the innovations that will make Dubai a truly Smart City."

Team Shop Up, the winners in the professional category commented: "We are a team of engineers who decided to quit our professional jobs in India and come to Dubai in search of a new challenge. We set up our own venture in the field of retail. As the UAE is an established regional shopping hub with among the world's highest smartphone penetration rates, we have developed an app with an aim to bridge the gap between offline and online retailers. We are very happy with our achievement and hope it will be a useful contribution to the UAE banking sector."

Team iEarn, winners in the students category said: "We are knowledge seekers. We wanted to participate in the EI Appathon as it is an ideal platform to meet people, exchange knowledge and gain experience in developing apps. Although it was challenging, we felt the competition was worth it. We designed an app with the aim to inculcate the value of earned money among children. We would like to thank Emirates Islamic for providing us with this valuable opportunity."