Launching Our First-Ever Global Spark AR Challenge in the Middle East


  • We’re launching our first-ever global Spark AR Challenge in the Middle East in partnership with the UAE Coders HQ and Museum of the Future.
  • From today, until June 17, we’re inviting creators and developers around the world to create exciting AR effects using the latest Spark capabilities.
  • Winners will be awarded a cash prize and have the chance to have their effects used by Emirates Airline’s and Accenture’s social channels.

We’re launching our first-ever global Spark AR Challenge in the Middle East, under the theme of Tomorrow Today – What will the next decade bring? in partnership with the Coders HQ, the Museum of the Future and Lenslist. The challenge will encourage creators to visualize the impact of technology and innovation on future lifestyles, mobility, work and communication, by designing augmented reality effects using the latest Spark AR capabilities. 

Through the Spark AR challenge, which is launching for the first time in the Middle East from May 23, and running until June 17 2022, Meta, Coders HQ and the Museum of the Future are calling the global community of creators and developers to showcase their creativity and innovation for the future. Participants will be challenged to use augmented reality to identify how modern technologies will improve wellbeing across various vital sectors. 

His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, confirmed that the UAE government, led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, adopts Artificial Intelligence solutions, modern technology and software to enhance its readiness for the future and explore new opportunities to shape a better future. 

“The global Spark AR Challenge that has been organized for the first time in the Middle East, keeps pace with the rapid developments in the sectors that are related to human life and driven by modern technology, data and digital solutions. It contributes to simulating innovation, finding viable proactive solutions, and continuous improvement to build a digital economy based on knowledge and innovation” 

– His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama

The goal of the challenge is to inspire the global creator and developer communities to use AR to visualise how technology will influence the way we work, travel and communicate. The two key challenges are to create AR effects around the ‘Mobility of Tomorrow’ for Emirates and the ‘Opportunities of the Future’ for Accenture. 

Winners will get the chance to have their winning effects featured on Emirates Airline’s and Accenture’s social media pages. In addition, participants will get the chance to win cash prizes amounting to over $50,000.

“We are very excited to launch the first Global Spark AR challenge hubbed out of the Middle East. With this global Spark AR challenge, we want to bring this diverse community together to envision the future, while also showcasing the value that AR could bring to communities.” 

– Fares Akkad, Regional Director for MENA, Meta

The challenge comes as a result of the collaborative work between Meta and the UAE government initiative Coders HQ, which aims to empower programmers with new digital skills and train them to use programming languages, in line with national efforts to support their participation in the digital transformation of the UAE.

“As we build for the metaverse, the developer and creator community will play a crucial role in bridging the gap between the physical, augmented and virtual worlds. Through the challenge, creators across the world will be among the first to experience the transformative potential of the metaverse.” 

– Fares Akkad, Regional Director for MENA, Meta


We’re offering participants the chance to brush up on their skills in workshops with top AR developers: Kym Fiala, a Spark AR network partner and the co-founder of South Africa based digital agency Pixel Chefs and Balraj Bains, a creative designer, project manager and freelance AR Creator based in the UK. 

You can watch the recordings on the Challenge website, where Kym will explain his process for creating a World AR Effect and Balraj will explain how she, together with Gijsbert Woulter Wahl and Beth Wickerson, created their Hand & Body Tracking effect. Lenslist will also host Office Hours, where they will offer a Q&A with AR expert Creators. 

Find out more and register for the global Spark AR Challenge.

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