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34th International Biology Olympiad kicks off in Al Ain


The 34th edition of the International Biology Olympiad (IBO) today kicked off in Al Ain. Organised by the Ministry of Education in partnership with the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), the event will run until 10th July.

320 students from 80 countries and 300 members of the jury will participate in the IBO, along with a group of international biology experts.

Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, the Chairperson of 34th International Biology Olympiad and the Assistant Under-Secretary for the Care and Capacity Building Sector at the Ministry of Education, inaugurated the event. In attendance were; Dr. Suad Mohammed Almarzooqi, Associate Provost for Students Affairs at UAE University; Dr. Lenka Libusová, head of IBO Coordinating Centre; and Dr. Saber Mudhaffar, Chairman of the Academic Committee of the 34th International Biology Olympiad.

Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education, affirmed that the UAE welcomes all the participants of the 34th International Biology Olympiad. The event is being hosted by the UAE for the first time in the Arab world thanks to its global leading position in the field of education. He emphasised that this key event brings talented students in biology together, empowering them as future leaders in life sciences. It also helps them form international scientific partnerships and engage with the broader scientific community.

He said, “The UAE has been keen to adopt innovation and creativity as basic pillars in drawing its strategic development plans and part of its endeavors to contribute to achieving its vision for the next 50 years. The UAE has made investments in empowering the youth, recognising their potential as leaders and creators who will shape our future and contribute to our development process.”

Dr. Mohammad Al Mualla, Under-Secretary for Academic Affairs at the Ministry of Education, noted that this Olympiad is focused on boosting the future generations’ capabilities, empowering them in the field of science, expanding their knowledge and supporting them in fostering their creative thinking by interacting with their peers from around the world. It will enable them to forge advanced international scientific and research partnerships, preparing today’s students to be the future leaders of life sciences.

Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi said, “The key purpose of this Olympiad is to promote the capabilities of talented students and develop their basic thinking skills in the field of biology. The aim is to help them delve deeper into complex life processes, starting from their cellular and molecular levels and moving to the entire biosphere. This, in turn, contributes to enhancing students' understanding of biology concepts in a non-traditional way, and enhances their problem-solving, analysis, and critical thinking skills.

“Since announcing the UAE’s hosting of the Olympiad, we have worked closely with our strategic partners in the United Arab Emirates University to organise a ground-breaking event that cements the UAE’s reputation as a leader in the field of education and a host for significant international events. We created the ideal environment for competition, in terms of media preparations, IT and logistics, and we trained around 200 postgraduate students and university professors to prepare, support, implement and manage the theoretical and practical tests for the Olympiad. We also trained 200 volunteers to support in organising the Olympiad events,” she added.

Dr. Lenka Libusová stated that the IBO brings together the most talented young biologists from around the world to compete in one of the most prominent competitions in the world. “I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude for the UAE’s efforts in organising and making this event a success. I also commend the organising committee that was able to organise the Olympiad in Al Ain within such a short timeframe. I am confident that this edition of the IBO will be a resounding success.” She added.

The International Biology Olympiad is the most prominent biology competition in the world and a platform for the best biology talents from around the world. This is the second global Olympiad hosted by the country, as it hosted the International Junior Science Olympiad in December 2021.