Nurturing local talent is essential for cultivating the leaders of the future

Why encouraging Emiratis to join private sector companies is more important than ever

By Hasan Fardan Al Fardan

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Hasan Fardan Al Fardan, CEO of Al Fardan Group
Hasan Fardan Al Fardan, CEO of Al Fardan Group

Published: Thu 7 Sep 2023, 5:53 PM

Last updated: Thu 7 Sep 2023, 6:31 PM

“Wealth is not in money. Wealth lies in men. This is where true power lies, the power we value. This is what has convinced us to direct all our resources to build the individual and to use the wealth which God has provided us in the service of the nation.” — the Founding Father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

In 1971, the same year the United Arab Emirates was established, our founder and Honorary Chairman (my grandfather) Hasan Ibrahim Al Fardan, founded Al Fardan Exchange.

Consistently emphasising the crucial role of cultivating Emirati talent and future leaders, our Honorary Chairman recognised that Emiratis have been pivotal in driving our national growth and will remain indispensable in realising the UAE’s ambitious aspirations in the coming decades. Thus, as a family, we have always felt a duty to provide training and opportunities for UAE nationals, with the aim of fostering and elevating their capabilities to take on leadership positions.

Amidst the evolution of today’s financial institutions, particularly with the rise of FinTech, we have a responsibility to prepare young nationals to be agile trailblazers in this domain. The onus is on those with education and experience to enlighten young minds about the vast potential and opportunities in this dynamic sector. Acquiring work experience within private enterprises will directly contribute to enhancing their overall skills, enriching their experiences, as well as further strengthening the UAE’s economic advancement.

As an Emirati-owned business, our commitment lies in setting a positive example in a swiftly evolving and innovative industry. This year, the Al Fardan family launched the Al Fardan Banking Training Institute, an NGO dedicated to fostering and empowering UAE nationals for the financial services sector, at no charge. Additionally, our collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ACTVET) involves a Memorandum of Understanding to employ 1,000 UAE nationals within the financial sector over five years, along with educating and training 5,000 at the Al Fardan Banking Training Institute.

At Al Fardan Exchange, we are actively moulding the business leaders of tomorrow via our continuous Emirati hiring and training program, with a focus on cultivating sought-after, specialized skills that will serve candidates throughout their professional journeys. Presently, we are conducting intensive training for students and graduates, entrusting them with the management of a new department – ‘’Financial Technology (“FinTech”)’’, which will be overseen and guided by 70 Emirati graduates and students.

These initiatives represent some of our endeavours to attract the finest Emirati talent to this specialised sector, with the objective of nurturing a generation of nationals equipped to assume leadership roles not only within our organisation but also across the broader financial services landscape.

To sustain our national trajectory, we all have an obligation to invest in developing and empowering young nationals. This necessitates the involvement of the brightest minds and top talent across the dynamic governmental and private sectors. Our visionary leadership understands that our most valuable resource is our people. As articulated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, ‘’We are building a new reality for our people, a new future for our children, and a new model of development.”

The writer is CEO of Al Fardan Group.

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