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Abu Dhabi: Fifteen (15) UAE-based specialists are taking intensive mentoring sessions aimed to develop a new crop of leaders in key strategic clusters under the National Experts Program (NEP).

Under the program, UAE-based specialists undergo a rigorous eight-month mentoring that combines academics, immersive work experience, and one-on-ones by sector leaders to foster knowledge exchange and innovative thinking.

Now in its third edition, NEP focuses on three strategic clusters: Economic Growth, Social Development, and Sustainability and Infrastructure.

With the UAE hosting the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) this year, this edition places added emphasis on sustainability.

The learning and development program supports the UAE’s strategic vision and fosters the development of sector leaders by cultivating specialised expertise and leadership skills in outstanding UAE-based professionals and equipping them to make a transformative impact on key social and economic sectors.


Through work sharing, shadowing, networking and other experiential activities, a selection of high-level, industry-leading mentors accelerate the personal and professional development of NEP participants, further cementing the value of lifelong learning, innovation and education as key pillars in the nation’s ongoing progress.

“The National Experts Program, created to contribute to the UAE’s long-term strategic economic development, will be an essential platform to recognize promising young leaders and nurture the next generation of Emirati talent. The third edition’s participants were selected from nearly 900 applicantsthrough a competitive selection process,” Ahmed Talib Al Shamsi, Director of the Program said.

The list of mentors and participants includes:

Economic Growth:

Economic Development:

Mentor: Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy

Participant: Mohamed Tarmoom, Senior Associate, UAE Investments at Mubadala Investment Company

Media and Creative Economy:

Mentor: Mona Al Marri, Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office

Participant: Waheeda Alhadhrami, Director of National Cultural and Creative Industries Promotion Department at the Ministry of Culture and Youth


Mentor: Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director General at Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre

Participant: Abdulla Alshehhi, Head of Strategic Research at the UAE Space Agency

Technology and Innovation:

Mentor: Peng Xiao, Group CEO at G42

Participant: Dr. Abdulla Al Shimmari, CEO,

Advanced Sciences and Research:

Mentor: Professor Eric Xing, President at Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence

Participant: Dr. Ameena Al-Sumaiti, Associate Professor at Khalifa University

Tourism and Hospitality:

Mentor: Haitham Mattar, Managing Director of India, Middle East and Africa at IHG Hotels and Resorts

Participant: Aisha Al Matrooshi, Tourism Sector Industry Development Section Head, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi

Social Development:


Mentor: Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education

Participant: Hareth Alhashmi, Director of Strategy Success at the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority


Mentor: His Excellency Omar Saif Ghobash, Ambassador to the Holy See and Assistant Minister for Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Participant: Eman Al Mughairy, Head of Communication at Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy

Community Development and Social Services:

Mentor: Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of State

Participant: Talal Faris, Division Manager, Family and Community Division at Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development

Policy and Government Services:

Mentor: Maryam Al Hammadi, Minister of State and Secretary General at the UAE Cabinet

Participant: Salama Alfalasi, Senior Programmer and Chairwoman of Dubai Police Young Leaders Council at Dubai Police Headquarters

Health and Well-Being:

Mentor: Dr. Jorge A. Guzman, Chief Executive Officer of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Participant: Fatima Al-Ali, Project Manager at Mubadala Health

Sustainability and Infrastructure:

Energy and Renewables:

Mentor: Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology

Participant: Saood Alnoori, Head of Diplomatic Engagement at the Office of the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change

Food and Water Security:

Mentor: Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment

Participant: Hamad Alshehhi, Investment Manager at ADQ

Mobility and Logistics:

Mentor: His Excellency Falah Mohamed Al Ahbabi

Participant: Abdulla Alhaidan, Project Manager, Project Management and Group Planning at DP World

Environment and Climate Change:

Mentor: Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi

Participant: Maitha Al Hameli, Section Manager - Marine Assessment & Conservation at the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.