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Tech fair kicks off on Ukulhas

It is the first event of the kind hosted in the Maldives.



A tech fair and an international science conference kicked off on Monday on the island of Ukulhas in Alif Alif atoll, marking the first time an event of its kind is hosted in the Maldives.

The fair was organised by the Ugail Foundation of Maldivian Professor Hassan Ugail, director of the visual computing centre at the University of Bradford in the UK. The exhibitors include government ministries and local companies as well as For Loop Coding Academy and the Maldives Open Source Society.

Telecom company Ooredoo Maldives is the local sponsor of the event.

Taking place in conjunction with the fair, the Software, Knowledge, Information Management and Applications (SKIMA) conference brings together 75 researchers and experts from 48 countries. Launched as a collaboration between research professionals in Western and Asian countries, previous editions took place in Thailand, Nepal, Morocco, Bhutan, Italy, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.

The Maldives conference focuses on applied artificial intelligence with a special workshop on the latest developments in the field.

The three-day event is taking place at a newly-built convention centre on Ukulhas, which was opened on Monday morning by Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid. It was reportedly built with MVR7.8 million (US$505,800) in grant aid from India and MVR13 million from the state budget.

The 10,000 square feet building was completed in 25 days by local contractor Ameen Construction.

The convention centre was only the third built in the Maldives. Two centres were previously developed in the capital Malé and the southernmost Addu City for the regional SAARC summits in 1990 and 2011.