Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of Emirates Foundation, Emirates Foundation Youth Forum 2018, successfully concluded in Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi.
The event was generously supported by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the main sponsor of the forum, and Mubadala as a contributing Sponsor, with a commitment from the private, public and social sectors working together to place youth at the forefront of developmental action, and empowering them with the capacity, skills and access to contribute to the development of the region in fulfillment of the 2021 national agenda.
Held for the first time in Al Dhafra region, the Emirates Foundation Youth Forum was attended by the UAE’s key leaders and decision-makers including, His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, His Excellency Mohamed Alabbar and other senior officials, decision makers, experts, government representatives, and business leaders who came together to respond to the Forum’s key theme of “Guide- Empower-Future Leaders.”
The Youth Forum attracted an overwhelming response with around 1000 youth attending the Forum, making it the largest gathering of youth from the Dhafra region.
Commenting on the success of the Forum His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Managing Director of Emirates Foundation said: “At Emirates Foundation we remain committed to Youth as the driving force for Vision 2021. Their empowerment to shoulder responsibilities, fuel innovation and contribute to the development, progress welfare of the UAE's community has never been more important than it is today.
Aligned with the UAE leadership vision and guidance, we have taken a very important step with the Youth Forum to expand our reach, programs and impact to Al Dhafra Region – a region rich with talented young minds, eager to play an active role in shaping the future of our nation.”
His Excellency further elaborated: “I was very pleased to see the large number of youth participation in Al Dhafra Forum this year and am especially proud of youth members active in Emirates Foundation’s programs who have successfully demonstrated the true value of youth participation at all levels ranging from volunteerism to emergency response, innovation, financial literacy and social entrepreneurship.”
His Excellency concluded by thanking His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region for his support of the work of Emirates Foundation and all partners towards empowering young future Emirati leaders in the Dhafra region.
On the Youth Forum’s second day, a special session was led by Hamda Al Shamsi VP Corporate Audit and Assurance from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the main sponsor of the forum, who offered the young female participants with inspirational and motivational messages about women engagement in the labor markets and especially in the private sector.
This was followed by a session with three living examples of youth who shared their experiences in engaging with Emirates Foundation programs and the impact it has made on their lives.
“ADNOC is proud to sponsor the Emirates Foundation Youth Forum to enable effective engagement of the UAE’s young men and women in the Al Dhafrah region,” said Ghannam Al Mazrouei, Director, Human Capital & Administration, ADNOC.
“At ADNOC, we believe deeply in the development of our female colleagues and their contribution not only to the company but also the nation. Our very own Hamda Al Shamsi, member of the ADNOC Future Leaders Program and Youth Council, who shared her story today at the Forum is testament to ADNOC’s unwavering efforts to support our Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s, whose vision was to support and empower women. As a community leader, ADNOC aligns its strategy closely with the UAE leaderships’ goal to empower young men and women so that they are equipped to become the workforce which will support the country’s future socio-economic needs. “
Throughout the two-day Forum, youth shared their ideas and projects with experts and speakers at workshops, panels and plenaries, heeding H.E. Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan's call for innovative solutions to effectively address the challenges facing youth in the UAE.
In summarizing the outcome of the Forum, Maytha Al Habsi, CEO of Emirates Foundation expressed her deep appreciation and gratitude for Al Dhafra Region’s community under the leadership of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region for their support in empowering Emirati youth.
Al Habsi further concluded: “Our presence here attests to our determination to work closely with the leadership of Al Dhafra region and our strategic partners to train, equip and develop youth across this region, as we are doing across the entire nation, to become agents of change. I call upon all institutions and the private sector to join our endeavor to continue supporting and empowering the Youth of Al Dhafra Region for the long term.”