Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s real riches are not the three million barrels of oil it produces every day but the young men and women who will take the country forward, a top UAE leader said in the capital on Wednesday.
This is why Emirati youth should work to gain a competitive education, especially in the sciences and engineering, as the UAE progresses to becoming a non-oil centred economy, said His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
He was speaking to a 3,000-strong audience of Emirati university students and government officials at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations. The Majlis, which wrapped up in the capital on Wednesday, was organised to inspire and engage Emirati youth as they plan for their futures.
"The UAE wants to compete with economies like Finland, New Zealand, South Korea and Singapore, and I urge you all, the leaders of tomorrow who will take the UAE to a post-oil future, to study how these countries have achieved their levels of growth and development,” Shaikh Mohammad said.
“We do not want to settle for being Number 2, and 50 years from now, we want you all to still be living in a safe, happy, prosperous country,” he added.
The leader also urged students to be serious about their careers and professional lives, urging them to select majors that they did not just like but were also serious about.
Also present at the closing of the Majlis were Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince: Shaikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council; Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs: Lt General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; Shaikh Abdulla Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, shaikhs, ministers, academics and top government officials.