Dubai-UAE: 19 May 2021 – The Rochester Institute of Technology – Dubai (RIT Dubai), today celebrated the graduation of its latest batch of 437 undergraduate and postgraduate students for the academic years 2020-2021 at its new campus in Dubai Silicon Oasis, the integrated free zone technology park and a knowledge and innovation center within the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan.  

The graduation ceremony drew the participation of His Excellency Abdul Rahman Al Saleh, Chairman of the board of the Rochester Institute of Technology - Dubai, His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Vice Chairman and CEO of DSOA, and Dr. Yousef Al-Assaf, President of RIT Dubai, as well as senior officials and families of the outgoing graduates.  

The university honored its graduate students in diverse general and innovation-technology fields that spanned mechanical, electrical engineering, computing security, computing and information technology, international business and management, marketing, finance, and industrial engineering. Postgraduate students from programs including electrical engineering, service leadership & innovation, mechanical engineering, engineering management, city science, and data analytics also received their certificates. 

Owing to the global safety protocols currently in place as a result of the pandemic, the students received their scholastic achievement certificates at an unconventional drive-thru graduation ceremony - the first of its kind at the new RIT Dubai campus. Restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 have seen institutions around the world postpone in-person events, including proms and convocations. 

His Excellency Abdul Rahman Al Saleh, Chairman of the board of the Rochester Institute of Technology – Dubai, said: “The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report for 2018 predicted that nearly 40% of the world's jobs would shift to rely on digital solutions in 2022. We have already witnessed the tremendous reliance on technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are pleased to see RIT Dubai at the forefront among similar academic institutions in strengthening local competencies to lead the technology, digital transformation, and artificial intelligence sectors in Dubai, the UAE, and the wider region as we advance into the future.” 

His Excellency, Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Vice Chairman and CEO of DSOA, said: “RIT Dubai’s ability to prepare young people with the knowledge and skills, experience, and competencies to lead the digital transformation and the development of integrated systems in smart future societies offers DSO a competitive advantage. As an integral part of the wider Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, launched earlier this year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, DSOA, in collaboration with its partners, is pleased to facilitate this effort to position Dubai as a preferred destination to live, work, and learn.”  

He added: “Year after year, we are witnessing a growing demand from students for majors related to advanced technology and smart cities. This clearly indicates their enhanced awareness and ambition to lead future-focused sectors. DSOA is already home to RIT – Dubai, one of the leading academic institutions specializing in technology and innovation – a credential that confirms our commitment to supporting the leadership’s vision of shaping an innovation-led knowledge economy.” 

For his part, Dr. Yousef Al-Assaf, President of RIT Dubai, said: “Today marks the 10th graduation ceremony in the history of RIT- Dubai, following its inception in 2010. We are still marking beginnings of sorts – with the university’s drive-thru graduation ceremony this year. We are proud to see our distinguished graduates from different specializations after an exceptional year and to hand them their certificates in their cars. This has been made possible due to our sprawling new campus that extends over 30,000 square meters at Dubai Silicon Oasis.” 

Al-Assaf added: “Congratulations to all students of RIT Dubai on their graduation and for obtaining their academic degrees that are issued at the university's headquarters in the USA. We look forward to the pioneering role they will play in the future in using the knowledge gained during their program to instill a culture of innovation in the UAE and the wider region.” 

The University, which is based at Dubai Silicon Oasis in close proximity to innovation centers and technology companies, has seen the graduation of more than 1,021 students since 2010 from both undergraduate and postgraduate programs across specialties that meet labor market demands, while also addressing future academic trends and career requirements.”