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Saeed Al Nazari, Director-General of the Federal Youth Authority addressing delegates during a session on 'Arab Youth Work: Best Practices, Experiences and Policies' at World Government Summit 2022 at Expo 2020 Dubai Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE has made a giant leap to ensure engagement of youth, listening to their voice and enhancing their leadership skills, officials said during ‘Day Zero’ of World Government Summit on Monday at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Shamma Al Mazrouei, UAE’s Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Vice President of the Arab Youth Centre, told Gulf News that studies show one of the challenges of youth in the Arab world is they don’t work as one team with the ministries - but UAE has a different vision to empower the youth.

“UAE has a futuristic vision for the youth sector. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, sees every challenge as an opportunity,” she said.

During Day Zero of the event, ministers from the Arab world engaged with young people and entities to discuss challenges and showcase best practices, experiences and policies for how investing in youth empowerment will contribute to development.

“Today’s meeting includes many Arab youth ministers from 22 countries and entities supporting the youth sector. We aim to see the strategies of many ministries and best practices to support the youth,” Al Mazrouie said.

“With Egypt hosting COP27 and UAE hosting COP28, we need to focus on youth role in the environmental issues. We need to tell the world how our youth participate in the environmental sector.”

Moreover, Saeed Al Nazari, Director General, Federal Youth Authority and Chief Strategy Officer, Arab Youth Centre, UAE, said during a session that the UAE launched several initiatives to enhance youths’ sense of national identity.

“Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid is a leader who always looking for development and renewal in all sectors, including the youth sector. He made a new model for the work between the government and the youth,” said Al Nazari.

Young government leaders

He added that UAE has three ministers and more than 689 government leaders in different government entities under the age of 35 as well as members of National Federal Council from youth sector, which shows the government’s confidence in young people’s capabilities.

The UAE Government sees young people as its greatest assets; the foundation of the country’s future, said Al Nazari. He added that the UAE has a policy of involving the youth in international delegations – 150 youth delegations have been to 36 countries.

“We held about 500 panel discussions for more than 50,000 young people and their voices have reached the country’s decision-makers… We have a young generation that can analyse the economic situation and understand the changes in this sector,” Al Nazari said.

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Youth Hub

Al Nazari added that UAE leaders directed to establish the ‘Youth Hub’ as a platform for youth to meet, connect with each other, brainstorm and launch their ideas. “It is considered as the best youth centre in the world where youth can sit and share ideas.”

Meanwhile the UAE Federal Youth Authority has established an initiative called Youth Launchpad to launch youth-led businesses at zero cost to youth. It offers youth the opportunity to start their businesses in different assigned spaces around the country, which enables them to put their entrepreneurship skills into action.

Al Nazari said spaces were given for Emirati youth in the busiest spots like shopping centres, youth hubs, and Dubai International Airport.