Hussain Sajwani of Damac has a day at the school. He will pump in Dh20 million over five years on the Dubai Schools Project. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Hussain Sajwani is giving schools in Dubai his undivided attention.

No, the Damac Chairman has no plans to expand his group’s interests into education, even though there are quite a few synergies between real estate development and building schools. Instead, Sajwani wants to steer some of the funds under his watch into upgrades to select schools in the city. And also provide access to deserving young UAE Nationals to get the desired start.

The project will be supported by the CSR arm of Damac Group. Scholarships will be provided for Dubai-based Emirati students take care of their tuition fees, starting with the 2022-23 academic term.

“This was the natural extension for what we had been doing with the ‘One Million Arab Coders Initiative’,” said Sajwani. “Damac thought schooling was the best follow up we could support, if that means helping deserving UAE Nationals in their academics. Supporting education-related programmes will be one of the pillars of our CSR efforts.”

Two schools project

The Damac stamp will also be felt in supporting two new schools in Mirdif and Al Barsha, which will  provide access to affordable education. Emirati students in Dubai will get to have priority for admission in Dubai Schools and can tap into scholarships of up to 100 per cent, ‘awarded on the basis and merit’.

“The Mirdif and Al Barsha locations were chosen because there is always the need for more educational facilities in emerging communities,” said Sajwani. “And these schools, I will emphasise, are there to offer affordable education."

CSR is on UAE’s corporate to-do list

Corporate Social Responsibility is coming into its own in the UAE, with some of the big names focussing on the next generations and in creating jobs that will suit those who have passed out in the last two to three years. Arming young Emirati aspirants emerging from the schools and colleges with the right skillsets blends in with what’s needed.

“CSR initiatives is about sustaining the efforts put in by the government, and we will play its full part in this,” said Sajwani.

Starting on that ‘fresh slate’
In another of its 2022 CSR pushes, Damac has launched a ‘Fresh Slate’ initiative in collaboration with Dubai Police General Headquarters. This is aimed at aiding detainees in Dubai’s punitive and correctional institutions charged with petty offences receive a ‘second chance at life’. The Damac Foundation has marked Dh2 million for the project, which enabled the release of detainees during this year’s Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha.