4842014 will be the first time Imagine Cup – Microsoft’s global technology competition engaging more than 35,000 students each year – includes a dedicated Pan-Arab Semi-Finals round, the company announced today.

In June, 24 teams from 12 Arab countries will gather in Doha to present original projects that leverage Microsoft technology to advance user experiences, tackle social issues and entertain audiences. Winners will represent the region and their respective countries at Imagine Cup’s Worldwide Finals held in Microsoft’s hometown of Seattle, Washington later this year. In its 12th year globally, Imagine Cup has deep roots in the region and has been ongoing in a number of Arab countries for many years.

Amid growing participation from students and an enhanced focus on empowering young entrepreneurs in the region, Microsoft launched the Pan-Arab Semi-Finals as a platform for powering creativity and innovation in two core areas using Microsoft devices and services: World Citizenship and Innovation. World Citizenship honors the software application with the greatest potential to make a positive contribution to the betterment of humanity, while the Innovation category rewards apps that deliver technology innovations that advance user experiences in areas such as social networks, search, classifieds or online shopping.

Commenting on the Pan-Arab Semi-Finals, Microsoft UAE General Manager, Samer Abu-Ltaif, said: “Each year, students, educators, enthusiasts and Microsoft partners in UAE look forward to Imagine Cup as a unique opportunity to compete and take their ideas to the next level. Each year, I look forward to seeing how the innovative students we meet use our technology to improve day-to-day life or seize an economic opportunity. The legacy that Imagine Cup enjoys in UAE and the wider Arab region is evidenced by the alumni, talent and projects it has cultivated here over the years. We warmly welcome the first official Pan-Arab Semi-Finals and wish each team the very best of luck!”

The Pan-Arab Semi-Finals will take place from June 1st to 4th, 2014 at the St. Regis Hotel in Doha. Teams from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates will compete. More than 140 students, judges and members of the media from across the Arab world are expected in Doha for the event.

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