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Archive picture of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Image Credit: X/@DXBMediaOffice

Dubai: A Dh1.1 billion scholarship programme for Emirati high school graduates was announced in Dubai on Monday.

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The announcement came from Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.

The scholarships will provide studying opportunities at leading local and international universities. Starting from April, students can apply on the DubaiNow app.

Sheikh Hamdan posted on his account on X: “In line with the Dubai Social Agenda 33’s goal to empower the next generation of local talent, we have announced an AED1.1 billion scholarship programme focused on supporting outstanding Emirati high school graduates.”

He added: “The program will grant scholarships to 100 of Dubai’s best-performing Emirati students, annually. Strengthening the abilities our youth is essential to fulfilling our future vision of a knowledge-based economy. By investing in Dubai’s youth today, we are paving the way for a prosperous and successful tomorrow.”

The programme is for graduates from public and private schools in Dubai.

Selection criteria

The selection criteria will be subject to the terms and conditions set by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). The application window will be aligned with the announcement of high school results taking into account timeframes for different curricula.

The initiative comes as part of the Dubai Social Agenda 33, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Sheikh Hamdan said: “Investing in Emiratis’ higher education and equipping our youth with knowledge is fundamental for building and sustaining a knowledgeable society. Dubai’s Government has an unwavering commitment to provide the resources needed to empower top achievers, nurturing them to become competent and influential future leaders armed with advanced skills to enrich sectors in the emirate and write new chapters in Dubai’s development journey. This initiative recognises students pursuing academic achievements and personal aspirations, helping them achieve their goals.”

He has been recognising the top 25 high school students from Dubai for the past two academic years. Students accorded the recognition have been selected from among a diverse range of schools and curricula in Dubai, including the Ministry of Education, British and American curricula, as well the IB (International Baccalaureate). The new programme will top up the scholarships already in place by offering 75 additional scholarships, benefiting 100 outstanding students annually.

Strategic objectives

Aligned with the Dubai Social Agenda 33, the Hamdan bin Mohammed Academic Scholarship Programme contributes to achieving two main strategic objectives. It firstly aspires to position Dubai among the top 10 cities in terms of education quality globally by 2033. The strategically designed programme will contribute significantly to Dubai’s future knowledge-based economy by cultivating exceptional future leaders driving innovation across a range of sectors.

Additionally, the programme is designed to provide students scholarships to prestigious international universities for specialised studies that are compatible with the needs of Dubai’s economy. This makes the scholarships aligned with the priorities of future development across various sectors. It consequently boosts the economic participation of citizens and supports fulfilment of targets of the Dubai Social Agenda 33, which is to increase the number of citizens working in the private sector to thrice the current number.

Combining financial support with a strategic vision, the Hamdan bin Mohammed Academic Scholarship Programme seeks to nurture talents, celebrate innovators, and cultivate exceptional leaders. This initiative marks a significant step towards building students’ leadership skills while further enhancing the knowledge ecosystem in Dubai at the same time as fostering innovation, stimulating creativity, and creating opportunities for progress.