Largest-ever Global Grad Showto showcase 150 game-changing projects for a better world

  • 2,600 entries from 464 universities across 70 countriesmakeseventh edition the most diverse yet
  • Record 300 applications from MENA region, with 13 applying universities from the UAE
  • Trends include: tech-enabled healthcare, sustainable food practices and smarter homes

DUBAI, UAE; October28,2021:Global Grad Show, an initiative by the Art Dubai Group,held under the patronage of Her Highness SheikhaLatifabint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, a member of Dubai Council,is preparing for its largest edition to date, having received applications from graduates from 464 universities, a 70% increase from last year,from 70 countries around the world.

Now in its seventh edition, Global Grad Show is a programme for international academic talent, bringing their innovations to global audiences and supporting their development towards real-world implementation.

The world’s largest and most diverse initiative of its kind shall announce 150game-changing projects on November 8, 2021.Originally focused on design projects for social impact, today it encompasses over 100 disciplines in the fields of science, technology and creative studies, from Ergonomics to Geomatics and Nano-engineering.

Since 2020, the programme also includes MENA Grad Show, a physical exhibition dedicated to university talent in universities from the region, also focusing on social impact innovations. Applications to the 2021 edition grew by 50%, totaling 300, with the UAE being the biggest contributor with 150+ entries. Students from 41 universities across 10 countries submitted projects, which underline growing concerns about areas such as responsible consumption, equality and mental health. 

This year’s Global Grad Show demonstrates shared global concerns, including a major focus on health tech,in particular mental health concerns, developing more sustainable food practices, smarter homes, solutions to improve physical wellbeing and enabling and empowering new communities to thrive.

Global Grad Show has cultivated a diverse, ever-expanding pool of applications since 2015, bringing together innovations from institutions like Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge and Oxford with entries from developing economies such as Bhutan, Jamaica, Ethiopia and Brunei. To date, the programme has received over 7,000 entries, with intensified growth over the past two years.

Global Grad Show puts in perspective how solutions from different backgroundscan together address universal concerns. For example, coral reefs degradation can be addressed with the work in robotics at Zhejiang University in China, complemented by the engineering approach from University of Glasgow and product design from University of Karachi. Properly combined, anunderwater 3D-printer, an independent micro-plastic filter and a community-led effort to recycle fishing nets can be more powerful and self-perpetuating.

Commenting ahead of this year’s Global Grad Show, Tadeu Baldani, Director of Global Grad Show, said:“What we see at Global Grad Show is that talent is uniformly distributed around the world. We have the privilege of engaging with thousands of young minds every year, and we know that their drive, intellect and creativity are an incredible combination for creating good.At Global Grad Show we nurture their vision, so they are closer to bringing their solutions to life.

“Thanks to the long-term support of partners like Dubai Culture, ARM Holding, Dubai Design District (d3) and the patronage of Her Highness Sheikhabint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, a member of Dubai Council, the programme has increased its capacity to source and support projects to reach audiences and users.         

“Despite the challenges higher education faced during the pandemic, the growth in interest and depth of applications is a testament to the resilience and strength of academic research – which is especially reassuring in times like these. We are very pleased to be able to share 150 of these ideas with the world this November.”

Global Grad Show’s commitment to supporting academic innovators goes beyond the yearly showcases. Since 2019, its entrepreneurship programme has welcomed over 300 participants, and over 1,000 have signed up to this year’s cohort. Over a four-month period, university graduates are supported with business training, mentorship and funding opportunities, followed by continuous assessment.To date, 15 teams have completed the entire programme. The expectation is to triple this number by 2022 and guide more business-ready startups into the impact investment ecosystem.

Global Grad Show partner ARM Holding, the first to pledge a fund specific to Global Grad Show startups, has recently renewed its commitment. In 2019, the company announced a $2.72 million USD (AED 10 million) fund over 10 years to support participants to advance their projects. 

The yearly international showcase will be unveiled on November 8, 2021. In addition, MENA Grad Show physical exhibition will open on the same date, as part of Dubai Design Week, supported by Dubai Design District (d3).        


About Global Grad Show:

Global Grad Show, an initiative by the Art Dubai Group, is a programme for graduates in universities across the world whose research and ideas offer solutions to help solve major social and environmental issues. Launched in 2015 and now in its seventh edition, Global Grad Show brings together academics from over 70 countries and 600 universities, from the world’s most prominent academic institutions to local colleges in developing markets, in fields ranging from biomedical engineering to urban design and data sciences.

Each year, participating graduate projects offer audiences the opportunity to enter a universe of academic ingenuity rarely seen outside the campus, through the work of young minds addressing complex issues around the world through their social impact innovations.

Global Grad Show celebrates its innovators through a yearly showcase (held physically until 2019 and online since 2020) and year-round activations supporting graduates and professors on complementing angles: knowledge exchange, entrepreneurship opportunities and international exposure.

Part of Global Grad Show is the entrepreneurship programme, which is open to all applicants and offers startup-building training, mentorship and network access to help graduates advance their projects towards implementation. In 2019, A.R.M. Holding pledged AED 10 million for a 10-year fund to support programme participants with seed capital to advance their development and to accelerate their progress towards market launch.

One of the programme’s new initiatives is the MENA Grad Show, launched in 2020. The physical exhibition celebrates academic talent from the region, showcasing the best social impact innovation projects in the fields of technology, science and design, as part of Dubai Design Week, sponsored by d3. Visit for further information. 

About Dubai Culture & Arts Authority:

On 8th March 2008, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, launched Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture). The mandate of the Authority is to serve as a dedicated entity for culture, arts, heritage, and literature in the Emirate of Dubai, and to drive the growth of the city’s artistic and cultural landscape. Dubai Culture focuses on establishing Dubai as a regional and global centre for creativity, and also seeks to enhance the city’s cultural identity in order to drive the creative economy. The Authority strives to enhance the quality of life for Dubai residents to help achieve a key pillar of the Dubai Plan 2021 objectives, which is to create a city of happy, creative, and empowered people. Under the leadership of Her Highness SheikhaLatifabint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture, the Authority has played an integral role in reinforcing Dubai’s position as a vibrant global centre for creativity, and in enhancing the city’s cultural identity.

About A.R.M. Holding 

A.R.M. Holding is a private investment firm and multi-focused economic enabler that creates synergies and opportunities through local, regional and global investments. At the core of the company’s business strategy is its commitment to impactful investments, actively employing its resources to advance society and empower its players to pursue innovative solutions and inspire a better future. It collaborates with like-minded organizations and leverages its network and partnerships to create meaningful relationships and growth opportunities.

A.R.M. Holding’s investments are focused on tech-enabled industries and sophisticated technologies around the world that demonstrate strong potential for long-term positive social impact. It also holds equity stakes in some of Dubai’s foremost companies in a variety of sectors including Banking, Telecom, FMCG, Real Estate, and Hospitality. 

A.R.M. Holding has contributed to society with significant investments in numerous industries and versatile projects. In 2021, it became the first corporate patron of the Dubai Collection, the first institutional art collection in the emirate of Dubai. 

To learn more about A.R.M. Holding, please visit:

About Dubai Design District (d3)

Dubai Design District (d3) is a global creative ecosystem dedicated to design, fashion, architecture, art and retail. In line with Dubai’s position as the leading business destination for the region and beyond, d3 is created as the first-of-its-kind creative ecosystem that enables people and businesses to grow and co-create, whilst simultaneously providing a strong platform for creativity. Strategically located in the heart of Dubai, d3 is one of the city’s lifestyle and business destinations that challenges thousands of people to rethink the regular.

With state-of-the-art infrastructure designed to meet the needs of the industry and a business-friendly framework, the community offers creative talent the tools to drive innovation that permeates through various areas of Dubai’s economy, further reinforcing Dubai’s status as a UNESCO Creative City of Design.

d3 is a cutting-edge retail destination with over 40 retailers offering a variety of multi-brand boutiques, fashion brands, art galleries and showrooms. In addition, d3 is home to leading companies and talent including architects, interior designers, photography studios, product and fashion designers. The Design Quarter, the central component in the development of d3, features world-class offices, studios, showrooms and retail spaces spread across the district.

Some of the region’s most popular and sought-after events take place in d3 and attract international artists and audiences to cultural exhibitions and gatherings such as Dubai Design Week and Sole DXB. The destination also regularly hosts a roster of industry talks, workshops and educational programming, accessible to people of all ages.

d3 is also home to the cutting-edge business incubator – in5 – that aims to support the fashion and design industries by offering students and entrepreneurs the opportunity to transform their ideas into successful commercial ventures. This ecosystem is further supported by the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, the region’s only university exclusively dedicated to design and innovation.

For more information, please visit:

For media inquiries please contact:

Samreen Iqbal

+971 4 506 5555