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COVID-19: Drones to hand over certificates at drive-in graduation ceremony in Dubai

An American University in the Emirates plans the first-of-its-kind event for their 2020 Class of Hope by deploying drones to hand over graduation certificates during the ceremony, reports  On July 15th, students will arrive in their cars and be given an allotted spot, where they then park two metres apart from other vehicles. When their name is called out, a drone will deliver the certificate to them.

The drivers will be able to access an FM radio channel to follow the ceremony which will be chaired by Major-General Dr Ahmed Nasseer Al Raisi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and the University’s President Professor Muthanna Abdul Razzaq.

Muthanna told a virtual press conference, “We started thinking on how we can conduct the graduation ceremony during the coronavirus restrictions without breaking any safety regulations. Graduation Day is a big day, a landmark day for any student, and no-one deserves to have this special day taken away. So we started thinking of various methods to do it and make our students happy. That’s how this idea came along.”

He continued, “It’s a simple idea, but it’s very much in keeping with the way we at the AUE think. It’s creative, innovative and safe. We believe that it’s the first-of-its-kind in the region and maybe the world.

“We also chose July 15th to hold the graduation ceremony as it coincides with the birthday of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. His Highness has been at the forefont of promoting education and knowledge in the UAE and is a strong supporter of encouraging youth in the country.”

After the graduation ceremony, a spectacular light show featuring 120 drones will be held in honour of the university’s 2020 Class of Hope. Muthanna revealed that a special university team is in discussion with Guinness World Records officials and its Records Management Team to discuss how the one-of-a-kind graduation ceremony can attempt a world record.

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