Empowering youth key pillar of growth in Arab countries: Sheikh Hamdan

Dubai Crown Prince assesses future plans of Young Arab Leaders, reviews its 20-year milestones

By Wam

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Sheikh Hamdan attends meeting to review the progress of Young Arab Leaders in Dubai. — Wam
Sheikh Hamdan attends meeting to review the progress of Young Arab Leaders in Dubai. — Wam

Published: Fri 14 Apr 2023, 8:58 PM

Last updated: Fri 14 Apr 2023, 8:59 PM

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Honourary Chairman of Young Arab Leaders (YAL), affirmed that enhancing the leadership and influential role of youth, as well as empowering them with the necessary tools and innovative skills, are key pillars of growth in Arab countries.

These pillars are essential for successfully achieving comprehensive development plans and implementing future visions and strategies, Sheikh Hamdan said.


He made these remarks during a meeting held to review the key milestones of Young Arab Leaders, which was established 20 years ago in 2004. He emphasised that the initiative reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, regarding the importance of empowering Arab youth and developing young leaders capable of making a positive impact on society and vital sectors.

Sheikh Hamdan said: “The Young Arab Leaders initiative, which was launched in 2004 under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has successfully established the largest network of its kind, comprised of a distinguished group of influential, inspiring, and entrepreneurial members who can guide Arab youth in driving development in their communities, encouraging them to excel in their respective fields, and capitalising on future opportunities.”


Sheikh Hamdan was briefed on YAL’s current plans and future initiatives, which aim to further widen the organisation’s scope of work and expand the number of participating members across various sectors. He discussed the initiative’s most notable achievements in promoting a culture of entrepreneurship, developing leadership skills, and unlocking the potential of Arab youth over the past two decades.

He underscored the need to expand the initiative’s scope, increase membership, and attract the best promising Arab talents and skills in its next phase. He said: “The Programme attracted 15,000 young leaders from 22 Arab countries to its network, and our goal is to increase this number to 50,000 in the near future.”

This aligns with the vision of Sheikh Mohammed to transform the non-profit initiative into the region’s most prominent Arab network for young future leaders. Sheikh Hamdan emphasised the importance of sustainable initiatives in institutionalising the process of designing the future.

Sheikh Hamdan emphasised the importance of instilling the principles of entrepreneurship, foresight, and informed anticipation of developmental and creative future projects in younger generations. Additionally, he stressed the critical need for fostering specialised Arab talent, individuals who possess the ability to transform innovative ideas into reality.

The meeting was attended by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Managing Director of Dubai Future Foundation; and Khalfan Juma Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, in addition to several officials and members of the initiative.

It was also announced that Khalfan Juma Belhoul was selected as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Young Arab Leaders initiative to supervise the implementation of the plans for the next stage and lead the development of its projects in various important sectors, including politics, entrepreneurship, technology, culture and the arts.

YAL aims to support Arab youth to achieve their ambitious projects and ideas. It further seeks to create a regional network of influential business leaders and experts to assist and guide the young talents in their respective fields.

An impactful role on a regional level

YAL has successfully attracted 15,000 young men and women from 22 Arab countries to its network since its establishment in 2004. Over the years, it has organised more than 150 diverse events and received over 1,100 applications to participate in its vocational training programme.

In its phase, YAL aims to attract 50,000 participants and develop and implement many future projects and inspiring ideas with Arab youth. This will be achieved by building a network of influential businessmen and exceptional leaders in their fields who can support, assist, and guide Arab youth. Additionally, the network will utilise the capabilities and experiences of its members to motivate and empower the future leaders of Arab youth.

YAL has played an integral role in highlighting the success stories of several emerging projects since its inception. It has organised 60 inclusive workshops for entrepreneurs, in addition to hosting 42 senior businesspeople and members of the initiative to guide young people in their future career paths through its youth mentoring programme.

Supporting ambitions

The Young Arab Leaders initiative supports the ambitions and needs of young people by fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, promoting collaboration between the government and private sectors, facilitating communication with experts across different fields. Importantly, the initiative provides a platform for young people to connect with a wide network of business leaders for investment and financing opportunities to support their promising projects.


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