Abu Dhabi, April 25th 2017


  • 2017’s keynote roster included leaders and decision-makers from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Bahrain, United Kingdom, Egypt, and Oman
  • Voice of the student showcased inventions and award-winning projects from ADEC and GEMS
  • BETT 2017 Awards shortlist sneak peek – further awards to be announced during the Gala Dinner
  • Microsoft launched a Teachers Academy for Public and Private schools in partnership with ADEC to improve learning outcomes and empower students with skills for the modern workplace

Abu Dhabi, April 25th 2017 – Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Bett in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), organized several illustrious speakers from global organizations and regional governmental entities for its second edition on 25-26th April 2017. 

The two-day event is taking place at the Dusit Thani and welcoming 1,600 education policy makers, leaders and experts from over 35 countries. 

The Bett Middle East Leadership Summit has brought together regional senior education leaders and esteemed global speakers under the theme: “Igniting Excitement through Innovation in Learning.” Featuring keynote addresses, discussions and debates on a wide range of topics affecting educational transformation, the Summit included latest trends in STEM education, educational equality and access, employability and 21st century skills, as well as data.  

During his welcoming speech to a room full of attendees and delegates at the summit, His Excellency Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi, ADEC’s Director General, said:  “It is with great honor that this event is under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Vice Chairman of ADEC, who looks forward to a successful outcome. Your excellency, ladies and gentleman, principals, teachers and students, ADEC is happy to partner with Bett to create a high notch education platform that not only enhances networking opportunities for Abu Dhabi, but for the region, one that brings about best practices and experiences in education.”

H.E. added: “As part of the Abu Dhabi Plan, one of ADEC’s top priorities and responsibilities for schools across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is quality education. Our goal is to offer a promising future for our youth who are expected to contribute to the service of the country and society. Our wise and prudent leadership has always thrived to enhance its position as a global leader in education, thus attracting some of the most qualified and talented educators across the world to share their experiences and showcase updated strategies and plans towards elevating the overall education system in par with international standards.”

In his conclusive speech, Dr. Al Nuaimi explained that the education system in the Emirate and across the world is constantly reforming. “In order to ensure successful implementation of an education reform, a large-scale education improvement plan needs to be continuously updated to best suit the nations socio-economic situation and market needs. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi will continue to work hard in order to raise the bar for education. We will remain focused on building capacity, while continuously seeking ways to raise the overall quality of education for all our students. I look forward to witnessing positive and fruitful results.”

Alongside the fascinating symposiums that had 500 educators including principals and Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) teachers from across various public and private schools in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, attended the Expo where they interacted with exhibitors and participated in the Learn Live, Microsoft School Leaders Academy and Teachers Academy. In addition, for the first time at a Bett Summit & Expo, Microsoft held a “Digital Transformation Track” addressing what digital transformation means for education and how to optimize institutions in a new digital era. 

Anthony Salcito, Worldwide Education Vice President, Microsoft, in his keynote addressed the importance of having technology in the classroom to improve student learning outcomes and prepare them for success in future. He highlighted that digital transformation in schools and universities should be about the way in which people learn; and that rather than leading with technology, the emphasis should be on the skills students need and how new practices should be implemented, so that technology naturally becomes a service to bring the vision to fruition.

“Technology today is changing the way teachers and students share and connect with each other. These ways of collaborating are creating new ways of learning - empowering students with skills for the modern workplace. Said Salcito.  “We are proud to be associated with BETT as a global partner and in bringing it to the Middle East again, which is a unique platform for us to share new practices, and address the need for academia to transform and implement curricula that recognizes a shift in learning and expectations; to ultimately transform end results”

In Partnership with ADEC, Microsoft introduced the Teachers Academy; a range of workshops during BETT that aimed at training teachers from Public and private schools to enhance their skills and develop creative digital lessons using Office, Mix and Creative Coding Through Games and Apps (CCGA). The Teacher’s Academy initiative is part of an ongoing partnership between Microsoft and ADEC based on a shared vision to build teachers’ capacity to leverage latest Microsoft solutions, and empower them with the right tools and resources so that they can provide students with dynamic learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom, and prepare them to meet future global challenges.

Other notable and influential figures across the education industry who spoke at the Forum included:

  • Saudi Arabia: Dr Mohammed Al-Ohali, Deputy Minister, Educational Affairs, Ministry of Education, Dr. Mohamed S. Mahrous, Vice-President for Quality & Development, Taibah University
  • UAE: Dr. H.E. Amal Koos, Secretary – General, United Arab Emirates National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, Ms. Rosamund Marshall, Chief Executive, Officer Taaleem, Sir Christopher Stone, Chief Education Officer for MENESA, GEMS Education 
  • Oman: Mr. Suliman Saif Al Kindi, Director General, Directorate - General of Information Technology, Ministry of Education, 
  • Egypt: Dr. Inas Sobhy, e-Learning General Director, Ministry of Education, Ms. Gail Campbell, Regional Director, MENA British Council and Member of BC Management Board, The British Council   
  • France: Ms. Elizabeth Fordham, Senior Advisor, Education, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD 
  • Bahrain: Mr. Cameron Mirza, Office of the President, University of Bahrain

A window into the student mind

Within this year’s Bett Middle East Expo, an exhibition of ground-breaking companies showcasing innovative solutions with the ability to transform teaching spaces, is the Learn Live theatre. This program will feature seminars, practical demonstrations and presentations that have been curated to address the pressing questions in the minds of educators across the Middle East and to help them develop their skills. In light of this year’s theme, Learn Live will include a new series of student-led sessions. 

Eve Harper, Event Director of Bett Middle East commented “BETT Middle East 2017, has us especially excited to be bringing a line-up of student speakers to the Learn Live programme. From the Young Inventor Showcase, where you can hear from the next generation of entrepreneurs, to our happiness panel, where students will be sharing the initiatives they are taking to promote positivity in schools – this year allows attendees to hear from the people who matter most and get to know what inspires them. “

Awarding educational excellence

Another addition to Bett this year, are the BETT Middle East Awards, a celebration of the individuals, institutions and organisations inspiring educational excellence. The submissions were judged by a panel of members from BETT’s new VIP steering committee, BETT Diwan. 

The committee faced the task of selecting creatively challenging submissions that showcased originality and innovation in addressing key issues facing the region’s education sector.  All of the winning submissions will be awarded during the Bett Middle East Gala Dinner on 25 April 2017. 

Below is a selection of the award shortlists per category:   

  • Leadership – Individual
    • Mark Steed, JESS Dubai
    • Fatma Al Bastiki, Hamdan Bin Zayed School
  • Leadership – Institution
    • Caledonian College of Engineering, Oman
    • United Arab Emirates University, UAE
  • Game Changer
    • Al Faisal Foundation
    • ITWORX (WinjiGo)
  • Innovation – Higher Education
    • Ankabut
    • Middle East College – teaching and learning tool
  • Innovation – K12
    • Diglossia – TALA Arabic Language Arts Assessment
    • Classera Inc

Bett Middle East 2017 aims to address the latest trends, challenges and advancements in education and innovation, with a distinct focus on the Middle East and Africa. The event offers educators and education professionals a platform to network with government officials, education leaders and brands at the forefront of educational transformation.  

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About Bett
Bett is a leading global technology exhibition and congress series for teaching and learning related data and management tools. Covering the breadth of lifelong learning, the series brings together industry leaders, practitioners, professionals and inspirational figures to share ideas on how to support learning together through technology.  The Bett global series covers events in the United Kingdom, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.  Bett is an Ascential event.

About Abu Dhabi Education Council
Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) was established in accordance with law No. 24 of 2005, issued by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the UAE President, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and the Ruler of Abu Dhabi. The Chairman of ADEC is H.H. Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and the Vice-Chairman is H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs. The Council seeks to develop education and educational institutions in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, implement innovative educational policies, plans and programs that aim to imasprove education, and support educational institutions and staff to achieve the objectives of national development in accordance with the highest international standards. 

About Ascential Plc
Ascential is a global business-to-business media company that informs and connects the business world in 150 countries through market-leading Exhibitions & Festivals and Information Services.

Ascential powers the prestigious Cannes Lions festival for the branded communications industry, the world's premier payments and financial services congress Money20/20, Spring Fair/Autumn Fair, the global fashion trend forecasting service WGSN and environmental risk data business Groundsure. 

Ascential’s premium products enable focus, growth and value. The company provides customers with world class content and connections empowering their businesses to be the best informed and best connected.

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Gina Khan
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+971 56 545 6481 

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