Snap Inc. in partnership with the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Application Office launched a new AR lens to raise awareness around the Ghaf tree; the UAE’s national tree, by supporting Goumbook’s ‘Give a Ghaf’ tree planting program.
The initiative launched on the occasion of UAE’s 51st National Day, represents a unique activation that showcases how Augmented Reality (AR) can be used to help make the UAE greener while increasing environmental awareness and engaging with the Snapchat community. The initiative is part of Snap’s global AR for Good efforts and the very first one to take place in the MENA region.
This National Day, Snapchatters will be able to plant a virtual Ghaf tree through the AR lens, and Snap has committed to support their efforts by planting up to 1,000 trees.
His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications stated that the UAE government, under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai invests in advanced technology and digitalization in vital sectors, to enhance society’s well-being and achieve positive impact in garnering futuristic opportunities.
H.E. said that the initiative, launched in partnership with Snap and coinciding with the National Day of the UAE, incorporates the UAE’s heritage and the use of technology to promote national principles. In addition, it educates generations and the society about the importance of the UAE’s heritage by utilizing Augmented Reality.
Commenting on the occasion, Hussein Freijeh, General Manager of Snap Inc. in MENA, said: “On behalf of everyone at Snap, I’d like to congratulate the UAE on its 51st National Day. In celebrating this milestone, we are proud of this great partnership with the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Application Office that demonstrates the role that platforms and digital technologies like Snapchat can play in addressing environmental challenges. Through such initiatives, we highlight how an immersive AR experience that advocates for the common good can go a long way in creating a lasting impression on a user’s mind. We also showcase how technology can play a role in creating more awareness locally while providing the community with the resources to become a part of the solution.”
The Ghaf tree has great historical and environmental significance and is deeply rooted in the cultural ethos of the UAE. Through the power of AR technology, Snap is celebrating the country’s rich history and heritage while reinforcing its commitment to supporting UAE’s environmental agenda. According to a recent study by Snap and Ipsos, 79% of consumers in the UAE are interested in using AR to learn more and better understand the world around them.
To participate in the initiative, the UAE community is encouraged to try out Snapchat’s UAE National Day AR activation, by first, opening the Snapchat app; scanning the Snapcode to access the Ghaf Tree lens; taking the pledge to preserve the National Tree of the UAE; flipping the camera to rear view to try out the AR activation; and using soil, seeds, and water step-by-step to nurture the Ghaf. Once done, a Ghaf tree starts growing in the user’s space. The tree grows to a larger-than-life-size and the user is commended on being part of the initiative.