Sheikh Abdullah urges youth to rise up to modern-day challenges

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on March 14, 2021

Sheikh Abdullah said the UAE’s founding generation lived in a different era because they had few opportunities and bigger challenges.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has called on the nation’s younger generation to double their efforts in a bid to tackle the challenges in today’s competitive world.

The minister reached out to the youth during a virtual discussion held on the occasion of the Mohamed Bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations (MBSMFG, 2021) on Sunday.

Sheikh Abdullah said the UAE’s founding generation lived in a different era because they had few opportunities and bigger challenges.

“Today’s challenges are fewer, but because there is a lot of competition and achievements, which means you (the youth) have to double your efforts,” he said, as he discussed the ways on how the younger generation can be involved in shaping the future.

“The great achievements of the past stood out more, because back then, there were no opportunities. This is why the youth will struggle more today. And I am sure this generation is ready and will help build a greater and stronger country in the next 50 years.”

He added: “When people believe that they have learned everything, this is the moment when they fail. Lifelong learning is very important. I’m not talking about schools and universities, but the resources and facilities you have today force you to develop yourselves and even your career skills and paths.”

Sheikh Abdullah noted that any individual, company or even a nation, would face obstacles when they stop nurturing talents and goals. “That is why the UAE will achieve its goals by doubling them. It’s true our main focus is the youth, but we also focus on making our country inclusive. The UAE will achieve more and more because it will always be the home of all cultures to share their thoughts and experiences,” he said.

He pointed out that the UAE youth -- Emiratis and residents alike -- have been cheerful, ambitious and have sacrificed in helping overcome the challenges and come up with ideas to develop the nation.

The virtual event was organised by the Education Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court under the theme Thriving in the Next Normal. It presented an interactive platform for younger participants to engage in constructive dialogue with the speakers in an effort to enhance their skills, empower them, and engage them in the plans to shape a better future.

Growing need for new ways of learning

Humaid Bin Bishr from the Abu Dhabi University said a survey conducted recently by the MBZMFG showed that 86 per cent of the youth are satisfied with the education system of the UAE.

“However, there is a skills gap between the classroom and at the workplace that can be bridged through internships, apprenticeships and career counselling,” he said.

“We always aim that students are well prepared and ready to face challenges in the work environment. This will be achievable with the coordination between employers and educators,” he added.

He cited that there was a need to find the right standards and skills to help technology create a positive transformation in the world. “So, we need to be bold, flexible and have the ability to adapt in the next normal. Because the future of the education sector depends greatly on the limitless potential of technology,” he said, adding that the UAE is always preparing innovative people to overcome future challenges and that he was confident that they will be able to do that either inside the classroom, or the world at large.

The MBZMFG 2021 focuses on three primary themes: A Changing World, New Opportunities, and The Next 50 Years. It aims to empower a new generation of leaders with interactive virtual experiences that motivate and engage them in plans to shape a bright future for the UAE.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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