42 Abu Dhabi: a melting pot ready to thrive

42 The Network
3 min readJul 8, 2021


Inside 42 Abu Dhabi

A new campus in a new country: learn more about 42 Abu Dhabi and what its city has to offer.

On december 2nd, 2021, the United Arab Emirates will turn 50. Its capital city, Abu Dhabi, is one of the most biggest and vibrant cities of the middle-east. One of its main characteristics is its population: about 90% of the population are expatriates. Growing fast, eager to learn and a melting pot of culture, it’s the perfect place for 42 to thrive with 42 Abu Dhabi!

42 Abu Dhabi is part of an agreement between the United Arab Emirates and the French Government. It was funded thanks to the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) as part of the Ghadan 21 accelerator program. It was officially opened earlier this year in January, but due to the global sanitary crisis, its first piscine was held a couple of months ago in May. Located in the middle of Mina Zayed Port, the campus retains the vibe of the area with an industrial look akin to a warehouse.

“We are looking for new partnerships, not only to find job or internship opportunities, but to bring challenges for our students like in R&D labs. By the end of September, the first batch of students will be here with us, and we are planning a lot of activities with our partners. They are looking forward to working with us and we are looking forward to a better 2022!”

Leo Filardi, CEO of 42 Abu Dhabi.

© Fadi Deeb (Mojo)

Already, future students and alumni are sought. Mubadala Investment Company and the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority have already agreed to sponsor each 50 students of the first batch. Other companies are also lined up to be part of the adventure, like Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, Huawei and du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company).

For now, 42 Abu Dhabi is working hard during its first selections ever. Piscines are being held until August and have seduced a wide range of different people and personalities: The first Piscine gathered more than 50 nationalities, 40% of women applicants, and an average age of 28 years old, going from 18 to almost 50!

42 Abu Dhabi is the best campus because I’m here! I’m Brazilian and we, from Latin America, have a very unique way to treat people. I try to build a very soft and light environment among my team. Even if we have huge responsibilities, I’m always here to say “Relax, let’s sit and play FIFA for a moment!”

Leo Filardi, CEO of 42 Abu Dhabi



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