As part of a project-management assignment for university, Khulood Al Hameli could have organised something straightforward such as a lecture.
But that would have been too easy. Ms Al Hameli wanted to stage something big.
"I thought 'why not do a technology expo?', because I like doing events," says Ms Al Hameli, who is the events coordinator for the Zayed University Entrepreneur Club.
Ms Al Hameli started organising the expo, which takes place tomorrow at the university, only a few of months ago. As a first step, she visited an event she hoped to emulate - even if on a smaller scale: Gitex, the annual technology exhibition in Dubai.
"Gitex has this excitement and thrill, and I wanted to put that in the expo, so I was learning from Gitex, actually," says Ms Al Hameli, who studies information systems management.
After handing out business cards at Gitex, Ms Al Hameli searched the database of exhibitors, looking for contacts in some of the companies participating in Gitex. But it was not always easy to track down the right person.
"We didn't have an actual contact in the companies. If I sent an email they didn't [always] give it attention," says Ms Al Hameli. "But I thought 'well, maybe they're busy with someone else'. I looked at another company. I thought it was better to put my efforts into something else."
She also visited Dubai Internet City to speak to representatives of companies in person. But because it was during the holidays, there were few executives available.
Despite the difficulties, Ms Al Hameli managed to persuade 15 companies and organisations to take part in the expo. The exhibitors included the online electronics shop Emiratesavenue.com and the Web hosting and design company Host Dubai.
And she even secured a sponsor for the event, the Advanced Technology Investment Company (Atic), which supports the development of the sector and runs programmes to foster young Emirati talent.
Atic sponsors events that support its mission, but this one was different because it was organised by a student, not a company.
"Targeted events such as this one provide a great forum to educate and attract talent," says Raeda Al Sarayreh, Atic's media relations manager. "It is a strong indication that young Emiratis are recognising the value proposition of innovation and the role it has on the future of this country."
Hend Al Nuaimi, the president of the Zayed University Entrepreneur Club, said she was proud to see a student organising an expo. And she hoped VIPs would attend tomorrow's event.
The expo is to feature UAE companies, inventions for people with special needs and advanced technologies.
"The aim from this is to get the students to explore and open their minds, to show them that one day maybe they could do better than this and be like the inventors," says Ms Al Hameli.
She also organised a competition to find the next inventor among her fellow students. Those taking part have to write a 300-word summary or produce a sketch or model describing the invention. The winner, who will be announced at the show tomorrow, will receive an iPad 2 and a consultation with the student entrepreneur club, which is supporting the event, about further developing the winning idea.
"Inshallah next year, Zayed University Entrepreneur Club will hold the expo and we will do it yearly," says Ms Al Hameli. "We want to make it bigger and for a longer time, not only for one day, and invite younger students like high school students to the event."