Welcome to Dubai Customs Datathon



The United Arab Emirates presents a universal model in pioneering the future. Acclaimed for investing in the latest global innovations towards inducing grand changes in the forthcoming development of the country’s promising future, the UAE has set off into assuming an active participation in leading the global innovation as per the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

We at Dubai Customs are very keen to keep up with the nation’s innovation-based progression, by introducing out-of-the-box ideas and breakthroughs in commercial and Customs services that ensure the happiness of our clients in parallel with Dubai’s transformation into the world’s smartest city.

The Datathon initiative aims at attracting the best minds and harnessing the latest innovation in the areas of data science and its applications..


Dubai Customs mission is to strike the balance between trade facilitation and the compliance. Dubai Customs is always keen to facilitate its customers by providing highly advance and innovative solutions. In alignment to that, the primary aim of this Datathon is to come up with creative ideas for facilitation legitimate trade, protection of borders and intellectual property rights (IPR), by utilising Dubai Customs open data in conjunction with open data of other entities published on Dubai Pulse.


In this competition, you shall submit your creative work in the form of a presentation outlining the following areas:

  • Team Introduction
  • Problem statement the team trying to solve
  • Concept/ Idea to solve the problem
  • Solution approach for solving the problem utilizing Open data from Dubai Pulse
  • Projected results/ benefits towards making Dubai a smart city and facilitation of trade
  • Prototypes/ wireframes

In addition, you may submit Data science / AI models or an application for further elaboration of your creative work


Event Start End Activities
Registration 17th Nov 30th Nov Registration shall be opened on Dubai Customs website ( www.dubaicustoms.gov.ae)
Webinar 23rd Nov 23rd Nov Dubai Customs team shall explain the idea and datasets to participants followed by question/answer session.
Submission 22nd Nov 30th Nov Please submit your presentation to the following email. Datathon@dubaicustoms.ae
Assessment 29th Nov 3rd Dec Assessment of submissions and short-listing by jury.
Winners Announcement 6th Dec 10th Dec Winners’ announcement on Dubai Customs website.
Award Ceremony 6th Dec 10th Dec During “GITEX Technology” week.

Who can participate?

All UAE Nationals and Residents, please register yourself under the following categories:

  • Employees - Dubai Customs employees.
  • Public - Customer, Professional and Community.
  • Student – University, college and school students.

Basic Information
Team Leader Information
Team Members
Name * Gender * Nationality * Email *
Verification Code *
*  I agree and accept Terms & Conditions

Dubai Pulse is the digital backbone powering the Smart City, to help spread happiness among all Dubai residents and visitors by leveraging Dubai Data initiative. The Dubai Pulse is the next-generation digital operating system designed to benefit individuals, companies, the private sector and the government. This unique platform will offer city services, City Data (Big Data) Orchestration and Digital Identity, as well as Cloud and IoT capabilities. Smart Dubai’s strategic partners, including Dubai Government entities, may leverage from Dubai Pulse and benefit from the available open and shared data.

Dubai Customs has published several Open Data on Dubai Pulse platform, most of which are related to Commodity codoes also known as “HS Code”. Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, also known as the Harmonized System Code (HS Code) of tariff nomenclature is an internationally standardized system of names and numbers to classify traded products.

The HS is organized logically by economic activity or component material. For example, animals and animal products are found in one section of the HS, while machinery and mechanical appliances are found in another. The HS is organized into 21 sections, which are subdivided into 99 chapters. The 99 HS chapters are further subdivided into 1,244 headings and 5224 subheadings.

The HS code consists of 6-digits. The first two digits designate the HS Chapter. The second two digits designate the HS heading. The third two digits designate the HS subheading.

For example, HS code 1006.30 indicates Chapter 10 (Cereals), Heading 06 (Rice), and Subheading 30 (Semi-milled or wholly milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed).

Example of the hierarchical structure of the Harmonized System

Customs Authorities often set their customs duties at the 8-digit "tariff code" level. Statistical suffixes may be added to the 8-digit tariff code for a total of 10 digits. Dubai Customs has defined 8-digit “HS Code”.

For more information, please refer to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonized_System

List of commodities based on Harmonized System Code (HSCode) classified under different sections:
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Live Animals; Animal Products


Vegetable Products


Animal or Vegetable Fats and Oils and their Cleavage Products; Prepared Edible Fats; Animal or Vegetable Waxes


Prepared Foodstuffs; Beverages, Spirits and Vinegar; Tobacco and Manufactured Tobacco Substitutes


Mineral Products


Products of the Chemical or Allied Industries


Plastics and Articles thereof; Rubber and Articles thereof


Raw Hides and Skins, Leather, Fur skins and Articles thereof; Saddlery and Harness; Travel Goods, Handbags and Similar Containers; Articles of Animal Gut (Other than Silk-Worm Gut)


Wood and Articles of Wood; Wood Charcoal; Cork and Articles of Cork; Manufactures of Straw, of Esparto or of other Plaiting Materials; Basketware and Wickerwork


Pulp of Wood or of other Fibrous Cellulosic Material; Recovered (Waste and Scrap) Paper or Paperboard; Paper and Paperboard and Articles thereof


Textiles and Textile Articles


Footwear, Headgear, Umbrellas, Sun Umbrellas, Walking-Sticks, Seat-Sticks, Whips, Riding-Crops and Parts thereof; Prepared Feathers and Articles Made therewith; Artificial Flowers; Articles of Human Hair


Articles of Stone, Plaster, Cement, Asbestos, Mica or similar materials; Glass and Glassware


Natural or Cultured Pearls, Precious or Semi-Precious Stones, Precious Metals, Metals clad with Precious Metal, and Articles thereof; Imitation Jewellery; Coin


Base Metals and Articles of Base Metal


Machinery and Mechanical Appliances; Electrical Equipment; Parts thereof; Sound Recorders and Reproducers, Television Image and Sound Recorders and Reproducers, and Parts and Accessories of such Articles


Vehicles, Aircraft, Vessels and Associated Transport Equipment


Optical, Photographic, Cinematographic, Measuring, Checking, Precision, Medical or Surgical Instruments and Apparatus; Clocks and Watches; Musical Instruments; Parts and Accessories thereof


Arms and Ammunition; Parts and Accessories thereof


Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles


Works of Art, Collectors' Pieces and Antiques

List of Prohibitions & Restrictions imposed by various controlling authorities (Government Departments, Ministries, Other agencies on items defined through their Harmonized System Code (HSCode). For the clearance of goods, approvals or permits are required from these controlling authorities:
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Restricted Commodity

List of Commodities and countries with preferential rates based on Tariff Agreements between U.A.E and other Nations / Union:
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Preferential Agreement Commodities


Preferential Agreement Countries

The list of Customs centers offering services like declaration processing, document submission, claims processing, revenue collection, Vehicle Clearance Certificate etc.
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Bureau Service Centers


Vehicle Clearance Certificate Issuance Centers

Customs locations from where goods can leave the country or complete the relevant customs procedure.
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Exit Points

Types used when declaring goods that are being brought in or taken out of the country or moving them from one customs procedure to another.
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Customs Regime And Declaration Types



The “Winners” of the 3 categories shall receive their respective awards and certificate from H.E. the Director General of Dubai Customs at the prestigious event of GITEX. Pictures of the event will be published on social media channels of Dubai Customs as well as leading newspapers of UAE.