Abu Dhabi: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, were on Sunday updated about the progress of the Youth Empowerment Strategy, which is aimed to enable the UAE government and young Emiratis to work together to help deliver Vision 2021.
This came as the two leaders inaugurated the Youth Centre on Sunday on the Abu Dhabi Corniche and reviewed its facilities and services.
They were updated on the strategy-driven government initiatives for youth empowerment in the UAE, which are launched through the Federal Youth Authority.
“I and my brother Mohamed Bin Zayed got first-hand experience of the Emirati model for youth empowerment which paves the way for institutionalising the youth sector in the country," Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid said.
"Youth are the country’s most cherished asset, and we have together launched a new phase for continuing to develop the youth sector in a way that ensures our country will steer the helm globally with regards to youth empowerment,” added Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid.
“The Emirati model for youth empowerment is focused on building up an influential character for each young Emirati and providing a development-conducive environment to ensure their effective contributions to and engagement in all sectors. We’re going to invest in and unleash their potential to maximise their role in achieving the highest good of all Emiratis,” he added.
Engine of development, growth
“We bet on youth,” said Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed. “They’re the engine of development and growth, and sit as top priority for President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
“Therefore, the role of youth on national development is sacrosanct to the whole developmental aspiration of the Emirati society. They are our true wealth, as we learned from the Founding Father late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
"We are betting on them and expecting a lot from them; they are the source of creativity and innovation and on them we are pinning our hopes to ensure a leading position on the global stage,” Sheikh Mohamed added.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed stressed that youth centres help create an integrated society that embraces the energies of the youth, invests in their talents, and equips them with the necessary skills to assume their responsibilities to ensure the country’s sustainable development, and create a bright future for the coming generations based on the belief that the youth are the country’s renewable wealth.
The opening ceremony was attended by Lt. General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Gargawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court; and Saeed Al Nazari, Director General of Federal Youth Authority.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed met with the centre’s management team and members along with several young entrepreneurs.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid stressed that youth centres are a successful model of empowering young people in various fields, through providing a stimulating environment that enables them to embrace their energies and invest in their talents.
“What we are witnessing is the outcome of giving young people confidence to assume their responsibilities. In the near future, we will witness more achievements in the journey of our nation through the efforts of its young sons and daughters. The pure spirit of youth centres will inspire creators to compete and deliver proud achievements,” he said.
“Our ambition for the homeland is unlimited. Our goal is to make the UAE the best country in the world by its 2071 centennial through our young people, who can take on their responsibilities, generation after generation. We believe in their abilities to continue their successes and lead globally. This is why we have directed all relevant authorities to empower young people and invest in their abilities, talent and creativity as future leaders,” he added.
Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed said youth centres are the key to developing the capabilities and skills of young people, as well as investing in their potential and leading them along the right path through the material, cultural and intellectual services they provide that mould the minds and bodies of the youth and raise their awareness.
He also highlighted the key role of youth centres in discovering the talents of young people, and their creativity and inventiveness, which will benefit the process of comprehensive national development and achieve harmony among the people of one nation.
During the centre’s opening, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed added that the UAE prioritises the youth in its development plans and considers them the country’s true wealth, and the leaders of tomorrow. Therefore, the country is keen to invest in them and prepare the youth to deal with the future, he added.
The centre, located on an area of 4,500-square metres, was built through the efforts, participation and management of young people in less than one year to embrace their creativity and enable them to exploit their full potentials, within a modern and innovative environment that encourages the creation of leading youth communities.
The centre, which is the largest in the country and features state-of-the-art facilities and over 30 innovative service areas, includes 30 departments and creative spaces, as well as a branch of the ‘Emirates Youth Professional School’, a Federal Youth Authority initiative, launched by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid on the International Youth Day.
Emirates Youth Professional School, EYPS, was launched to provide young individuals in the UAE with opportunities to improve their skills and career development opportunities, preparing them for the labour market through continuous education.
These upskill goals will be achieved through the provision of full-length professional courses and executive education programmes across various sectors.
Upon inspecting the centre, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed were briefed about the school’s programmes, as well as its agenda and partnerships with government and private institutions in the UAE and around the world.