UAE: 6 Arab achievers to win Dh1 million each in Vice President's initiative

Launched in January 2022, it is the region’s largest movement designed to recognise exceptional talents across key fields


Nasreen Abdulla

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Supplied photos
Supplied photos

Published: Thu 29 Sep 2022, 5:58 PM

Last updated: Thu 29 Sep 2022, 8:06 PM

The hunt is on for the 1000 greatest minds of the Arab World.

The Great Arab Minds initiative will reward outstanding achievements in 6 different categories with a prize money of Dh 1 million each. Launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in January 2022, it is the region’s largest movement designed to recognise exceptional talents among Arab scientists, thinkers, and innovators across key fields.

The initiative will reward Arab achievers over a 5-year period across 6 categories:

  • Natural Sciences (Physics and Chemistry)
  • Medicine
  • Literature and Arts
  • Economics
  • Technology and Engineering
  • Architecture & Design.

Its details were revealed by Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Chairman of the Committee leading Great Arab Minds, and Secretary-General of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI).

Reignite the passion

The Great Arab Minds initiative, under the MBRGI, aims to identify, support and acknowledge leading thinkers in the region. One of its main purposes is to reduce the emigration of Arab scientists, specialists, intellectuals, doctors, and engineers.

“If you look at the past 200 years, the Arab region has had a huge influence on the scientific scene worldwide,” said Saeed Al Nazari, Secretary General of Great Arab Minds Committee. “To date you will see a lot of technologies and advancements that were built based on ideas of philosophers, thought leaders and scientists from the Arab world. This initiative aims to reignite and revive that spark. We want to inspire people to think big.”

The initiative includes the “Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Great Arab Minds”, which will be awarded to 6 winners of six categories each year.

Al Gergawi stressed that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum believes greatly in the capabilities and ambitions of Arab talents, and that the initiative is a reflection of his vision to support great Arab minds and acknowledge their work and achievements.


A study conducted by KPMG showed that ignorance costs the Arab world more than $2 trillion. The Great Arab Minds initiative aims to change this reality and contribute to shaping a brighter future for Arab generations.

During an event organised at the Museum of the Future to announce the details of the initiative, Al Gergawi witnessed the signing of four partnerships between the Great Arab Minds initiative and KPMG, LinkedIn, Meta, and Majarra.

“This conversation is of vital importance for Meta,” said Shaden Khallaf, Head of Public Policy, North Africa and Gulf Cooperation Council at Meta.

“Great Arab Minds is a critical platform for the scientific community, enabling groundbreaking work, supporting promising talent and attracting a new generation towards the STEM fields and, in doing so, future proofing growth and economies.

We have a significant role to play in helping them connect more fully to the wider community – through training on creating engaging narratives, using our tools to develop simple scientific content, and amplifying their reach through science mentors and influencers. We greatly look forward to working with them.”


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