Each Fall, debate teams from UAE high schools come to NYU Abu Dhabi to compete for the Abu Dhabi schools trophy. A two-week programme, the tournament first invites teams for a day of coaching, during which our globally competitive university speakers train high school students at various skill levels: from first-time public speakers to experienced debaters.
The following week, teams return to NYUAD to debate multiple preliminary rounds before breaking to the final rounds. The winning team, as well as the best speakers of the tournament, are recognised as the UAE High School Debate Champions.
Speakers can opt to debate in either the English or Arabic division of the competition.
High School debating is an extraordinary chance to learn to express ideas and arguments convincingly, explore new topics, and meet other driven students. There is a reason that many of the best high school debaters go on to study at the world’s most competitive universities, and that many who try out Debate for only a few weeks stay at it for years.
We aim to pioneer Debate in the UAE and MENA by bringing this opportunity to all high schools throughout the Emirates, foster a debating circuit in the region, and establish Arabic language debate as a crucial addition to the global debating circuit in the 21st century.
For more information, please click here.
More than 100 students from Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Sharjah, and other cities participated in the programme. For the first time, the competition also included an Arabic-language division. In the Grand Final round, the teams debated the motion.
The competition is free for all participants. Schools will likely arrange transport.
The student must be a solid, experienced debater who is comfortable making logical and compelling arguments on topics without prior preparation. If the student wishes to attain a placement, they must demonstrate a high level of confidence, knowledge and skill -- although there will be coaching sessions at the beginning of the program.
Two weeks in November
Click on the apply button and submit your email address.
You will be sent more information about the programme. If you would like to chat more, feel free to get in touch with the current e-board.
Schools are reached out to by the end of September, but please contact us the organizers if you are an interested student, teacher, or high school staff member.
No prior experience is required! The programme is designed to teach you the ropes. All you need to sign up are at least three students and one advisor.