Wetskills-United Arab Emirates 2022

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Wetskills-United Arab Emirates 2022

January 5 - January 16

About The Event

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United Arab Emirates 2022: from WorldExpo Shanghai to Dubai!

Wetskills Foundation and partners organized another great water challenge event: in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

In a hybrid format (online with some in-person activities) participants from various countries (UAE, The Netherlands, Colombia, India, Nigeria, Germany) worked together in teams with each its own challenge. The cases are provided by our partners UAE University, RVO, PureBlue Water and Witteveen+Bos, in close cooperation with the Dutch Dubai programme of The Netherlands government.

During the Finals on Sunday 16 January, the teams presented the results to an international jury in The Netherlands Pavilion of the Dubai 2020 World Expo. This hybrid event was also the final part of the Wetskills 10 years Jubilee Celebrations.

Wetskills once started at the Shanghai WorldExpo 2010, so Wetskills ‘bridged’ the two WorldExpos and looked back to the results of many Wetskills events in many countries.

The Jury announced Team Falaj 2.0 as the winning team, with their innovative but applicable concept to improve water management on small farm. ‘Most UAE small farms use groundwater for crop irrigation. Low groundwater levels and salinization are a growing problem, and various water management strategies have already been proposed. The Wetskills team came up with a Tool to support farmers in identifying which strategy is most feasible for their own farm.’ This case was formulated by UAE University, to focus on a very challenging problem.

Read the article in Gulf Today: ‘Dutch PM Mark Rutte dubs UAE as living hub of innovative business‘ with a part about Wetskills-United Arab Emirates 2022; download the pdf version of the article.

Movies Wetskills-UAE 2022 Finals & Wetskills Jubilee

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Event Info

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Event Blogs

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  • Simple, relatable solutions for the Wetskills win at WorldExpo

    By Team Witteveen & Bos: Musthafa Mavukkandy, Karima Faidi, Mariam Shaker, Hadeel Najjar, Julian Gerritsen   Ever since we heard about the Wetskills program, we have been curious to participa...

  • Wetskills visits the farms of Garden City of UAE: Al Ain

    By team UAEU: Ayesha Alam, Laura Pulido Beltran, Meera Alkaabi, Silvio Kaiser and Azza Alshamsi   A fervent commencement of the new year and arrival of the Wetskills organizers and participants, ...

  • Thinking outside the bottle

    By team RVO: Mariam Alshamsi, Lina Abdalla, Sarah H. Harib, Theo Huisman   How to make the UAE stop drinking bottled water in ten days? Well, simple, it just takes 5 steps.   Form an overamb...

  • Wetskills brings rain to the UAE!

    By Team PureBlue Water: Connecting Blue and Green Networks (Ivory Mast, Adetunji Alabi, Savanna Kok, Mansour Alhimairi, Abdulrahman Alkatheeri, Saffana Ahmed)   Wetskills is of course all about w...


Event Cases

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Case 1: Connecting Blue and Green Networks

Case owner: PureBlue Water (The Netherlands)

As arid country, the United Arab Emirates lacks freshwater resources, especially in cities. Water reuse is one of the opportunities to mitigate the water stress in those cities. PureBlue’s decentral wastewater treatment units treat up until natural water quality and beyond. The goal is to enforce blue networks, the concatenation of water bodies and infrastructure, to let green networks, like parks, nature reserves and oases grow. PureBlue looks for creative implementation of their units in UAE cities to bring fresh water to locations that will benefit most from it. In addition, social innovation is of large importance to convince people of the safety and environmental friendliness of treated wastewater.

Case 2: A Sustainable Alternative to Water in Plastic

Case owner: RVO.nl

On a regular day millions of people encounter one or more single use plastic water bottle. It is just a normal routine but the effect that it has on our planet is devastating to the entire ecosystem. A plastic bottle does not simply disappear once we recycle it or throw it away, it is not biodegradable and becomes land and ocean litter. Organizations that go through a particularly high volume of plastic bottles consumption are University Campuses with vending machines and cafeteria and Hotels with plastic bottles distributed in each guest room. How can the use of “hydration stations” within these institutions be the solution to drastically reduce the impact that single use plastic has on the environment?

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Case 3: Decision-making tool for water management at small farms in UAE

Case owner: United Arab Emirates University 

Privately owned farms of a size between two and six ha are very common in the UAE, and mostly rely on groundwater for crop irrigation. In recent years the productivity of many of these farms has been threatened by increasing groundwater depletion and salinization. Various management strategies have been proposed to slow down groundwater deterioration and/or sustain agricultural production under increasing salinity. tools to facilitate such water management decision making are so far not available. It will maximize revenues at the farm level, and/or create an overall long-term sustainability and environmental safety. How could a tool support an individual farmer or decision identifying of the most feasible water management strategy for UAE’s small farms?

Case 4: Circular carbon zero water and resources recovery plant

Case owner: Witteveen+Bos (The Netherlands)

The global water sector contributes about 5% of greenhouse gas (GHG), and this is calculated without the process-related emissions of CH4, CO2 and N2O due to biological used water treatment. The UWTP’s are getting more efficient every day and water loops are being closed in municipal and industrial settings. However, by improving removal performances the carbon emissions rise by energy demand, chemical use, and process emission. Improving water quality leads to increasing CO2 emissions. The Water and Resources Refinery, developed by Witteveen+Bos and partners leads to a circular zero carbon used water treatment. How can the Water and Resources Refinery also solve these challenges for the United Arab Emirates and Singapore creating a future-proof and climate resilient water sector?

Pitch & Poster

Pitch & Poster

Event Partners

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Sultan Qaboos University_

Movie of Wetskills-Oman 2019

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Finals of Wetskills-Oman 2020

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January 5
January 16
Event Category:


Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Ioana Dobrescu
Rick Hogeboom
Ahmed Al-Busaidi
Johan Oost