Dhruv Karthik, UAE high school student, is the youngest and only solo finalist in the history of the international ‘Drones for Good’ competition

“Like the magnificent towers that are erected daily, each one surpassing the last, my ability to work non-stop was facilitated only by the UAE,” says Dhruv Karthik, Hale Education Group student.

An exceptional 17 year old Dubai student of Indian heritage, Dhruv Karthik, recently became the youngest finalist in the history of the ‘Drones for Good’ competition. Competing against hundreds of teams composed of university professors, graduate students, and robotics professionals, Karthik was selected as the only individual finalist in the competition.

Entrants from around the world will compete for a 1 Million Dirham grand prize at the finals on 17 and 18 February. The inspiration for Dhruv’s revolutionary drone ‘FIREFLY’ came after he witnessed the devastating fire at The Address Downtown Burj Dubai on New Year’s Eve in 2015. This innovative drone can autonomously enter unknown apartments and search for stranded persons. The project was recognized as one of the Top 50 engineering projects from over 12,000 entries around the world for the Google Science Fair. Dhruv was the only finalist selected from the UAE, and one of three from the Middle East.

Karthik is an inspiring technology entrepreneur that hopes to pursue his passion for computer science, robotics and artificial intelligence as an undergraduate student at a leading university in the US. He comments: “For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to study in an environment where everyone is motivated to build on their ideas, no matter how big or revolutionary they may be, and would expose me to an array of different intellectual perspectives and viewpoints.” Dhruv was mentored and guided through his university application process by Peter Davos, the Managing Director of Hale Education Group, who describes him as a “genius”.

Peter Davos said: “It truly is a privilege to play a small role in helping Dhruv reach the next level of his studies and to financially support his competitive endeavors. His excitement for his projects is infectious, and although I may understand only a fraction of the technical jargon he uses, I am fully confident that Dhruv is destined for a bright future in the US.”


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About Hale Education Group

Hale Education Group (HEG) is the leading independent educational consultancy in the GCC focusing on US university admissions. The Group provides college admissions counseling to Emirati and international students seeking admission to the full spectrum of US universities and colleges. HEG’s innovative model has evolved from a deep background and broad experience in admissions counseling in the United States. HEG centers its services on providing intensive one-on-one counseling and guidance to students in every aspect of US college admissions, based on the philosophy if finding the right “fit.” Hale’s mission is to guide and empower students seeking to realize their maximum personal, academic, and professional potential through the pursuit of American higher education.

Hale Education Group employs an entire team of American university professionals with relevant firsthand admissions experience, education, and knowledge. HEG’s admissions counseling model is highly personalized, as all sessions are conducted one-on-one with students. The team is composed of highly qualified American counselors with advanced degrees. Hale Education Group’s offices are located in Dubai Silicon Oasis and in Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi. To date Hale students received acceptances from over 150 US universities, in addition to over 30 million dirhams in merit scholarships.


To cultivate and guide the holistic development of students, helping them to achieve their fullest potential through the empowerment of American higher education.

About Peter Y. Davos, Founder and Managing Director

Peter is a first generation college graduate, born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, with a double major, from Johns Hopkins University and spent his junior year abroad completing the General Course in International Relations at the London School of Economics.

Peter holds Master’s Degrees from Oxford University (Lady Margaret Hall) and Harvard University (Graduate School of Design), where he was selected Marshal of his class and received numerous national, international, and university scholarships/honors, including the GSD Alumni Council Book Prize and the Colloredo-Mansfeld Prize for Superior Achievement in Real Estate Studies.

He has completed UCLA’s Certificate in College Counseling with Distinction and IECA’s Summer Training Institute. Peter is a governing board member of the North American International School in Dubai and has served as a Johns Hopkins Alumni Interviewer for over fourteen years. He is a member of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Council, Second Decade Society, and founder/co-president of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Society of the UAE.

A proud member of the HECA (Higher Education Consultants Association), OACAC (Overseas Association for College Admissions Counseling), HASUAE (Harvard Alumni Society of the UAE), and American Business Council of Dubai, Peter is widely considered to be the authority on US university admissions in the GCC. He was a contributing writer on US Education issues for Gulf News and has lived in Dubai since 2010.


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