His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed launches ‘National Experts Programme’ to establish base of expertise and national advisory cadre.

A major shift in the UAE's human capital development is underway with the launch of the 'National Experts Programme.' Launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, at a special ceremony at the Founder's Memorial in the UAE capital, the programme will see 20 Emiratis being mentored at the highest level to become experts-in-the-making across a range of sectorial specialisations carefully aligned to the country's national priorities and its drive towards a knowledge-based economy.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed expressed his hope that the programme will contribute to establishing a rich base of national expertise, helping participants develop their skills and hone their professional and personal tools to meet the requirements of current and future growth in the country.

He highlighted that the UAE leadership is committed to investing in and using the potential of its citizens to achieve national goals and the vision for the future, stressing the importance of benefiting from national experiences who are an important national asset and a permanent resource that enriches and supports the national system of action in various sectors.

"Standing at the Founder's Memorial looking at your faces gives me hope I am reminded of when the late Sheikh Zayed decided to build the breakwater in Abu Dhabi. His solution was to rely on our nationals who later became captains of industry We are blessed with the advancement we are witnessing and we are blessed to have young people like you, our sons and daughters, will secure a sustainable future for our nation".

He also reflected on the late Sheikh Zayed's priorities which were centered on human capital, which he identified as a national treasure. The late Sheikh Zayed always took pride in national achievement and "Today we rejoice because we are nurturing Emirati experts... We will celebrate when we reach a stage where we have specialist cadres to lead and guide playing a key advisory role in the national development program, bringing to the table sector-specific expertise and a deep understanding of the UAE's aims and needs."

Sheikh Mohamed also shared: "I learned during my studies in Egypt the difference between scientist and intellectual. The latter has general knowledge about most things whereas the former knows everything about one thing. This caliber and quality of specialization is rare and we are proud to have specialists today serving our country and our people."

He added: "The UAE is a role model in the region and as such you set an example and will eventually build on this heritage. The value of credibility is in the credit and legacy of our nation built over years and that will be passed on to the next generations. The UAE is a beacon and thanks to your continued efforts we can remain a symbol of hope, one that brings people together. We live in rapidly changing times and we must always innovative and creative. We have the skills that made our nation what it is today and we want to continue moving them forward professionally. We live in a nation where impossible is nothing; where our sons and daughters look to the future with optimism and first rate ambition."

Accountability is the language of business, achievement and innovation, he highlighted. Overachieving happens when specialists continue their education and learn from the inspirational accomplished men and women of state by shadowing them and building on lessons shared to drive improvements.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed closed with: "Your country has made tremendous strides forward and the mantle of responsibility falls to you, the educated and intellectual generation. It is on you to benefit from the experience of those who built and elevated our nation and to harness the knowledge and science you have learned from the world's best institutions to drive us to a better outcome."

The programme will graduate 20 national specialists across 20 vital sectors in line with national priorities to achieve a knowledge-based economy.

Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future - also programme mentor - commented: "This programme which has gathered a lot of support takes into consideration all facets of the participants' professional and personal growth to enable all of them to be role models, specialists forming a talent pool and a data-driven think tank of future expertise we can rely on. These specialists will then eventually play a key advisory role in the national development programme, bringing to the table sector-specific expertise and a deep understanding of the UAE's aims and needs. This first batch of graduates will form the cornerstone of an expert network that will grow in coming years. As the programme continues to develop, our goal is to graduate 5 classes by 2022 to reach 100 future experts invested in impacting their sectors."

Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-secretary of the Crown Prince Court Abu Dhabi affirmed that this programme represents a major and qualitative shift in human capital development, one that is in line with current and future national priorities. The programme, in his opinion, is based on a pivotal vision to attract national talents and empower them to develop their specialized skillsets to full maturity. This, he believes, will pave the way for a work environment that stimulates national capacities and provides sufficient space for systematic action within specialized clusters designed to provide operational and strategic support across sectors. This will drive efficient execution and accuracy of results through monitoring, evaluation and correction.

Programme Director, Ahmed Talib Al Shamsi, introduced the programme as a new human capital development model which represents a paradigm shift in advancing national development expertise. In line with the directives set forth by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and our leadership, the National Experts Programme fosters specialization and will be a launch-pad for expertise, "which is the way we increase our competitiveness as the ultimate aim of this programme is to create a network of sector specific specialists who together will form a data pool of Emirati expertise to help drive forward and contribute to UAE priorities," he affirms.

The 20 participants have been assigned a chosen sector which falls under four main clusters: Social Development; Economic Development; Infrastructure & Environment and Security & International Affairs. They will follow a programme designed around four key pillars including: classroom-based and off-site learning with subject matter experts; mentoring and shadowing of leading UAE figures; personal development and the delivery of a sector-specific Capstone project. The final Capstone output will be a sectorial strategy report addressing a challenge or an opportunity in depth, covering an overall sector review and a proposed roadmap.

The Social Development cluster mentors are: For Public services & administration: Ohoud bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness & Wellbeing For Community & Social Services: Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development For Health & Wellbeing: Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Health Department for Education and Social Development For Culture: Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development For Education & Social Development: Dr Ahmed bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills For Sports: Saeed Mohammed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council Mentors in the Economic Development cluster are: For Business & Financial Services - Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority, EAA, Chairman Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation Board of Directors, Group CEO & Managing Director, Mubadala Investment Company For Tourism, Retail & Leisure: Saif Ghobash, Undersecretary, Department of Culture & Tour-ism - Abu Dhabi For Manufacturing: Homaid Abdulla Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Corporate & Human Capital Officer, Mubadala Investment Company For Media & creative industries: Muna Ghanem Al Marri, Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office For Research & Development: Sara bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences Mentors within the Infrastructure & Environment cluster are: For Construction, Asset Development & Management: Mohamed Ali Rashed Alabbar, Founder and Chairman, Emaar Group For Smart Government: Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General Telecommunications Regulatory Authority For Logistics & transport: Mattar Al Tayer, Director General & Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors Road & Transport Authority - Dubai For Energy & Economy: Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State For the Environment: Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi - Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

Within the security & international affairs pillar, the mentors are: For Security Affairs: Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi, Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police For Food Security - Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Food Security For Foreign Aid & Philanthropy: Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation For Diplomacy & International Affairs: Saeed Mohammad Al Eter Al Dhanhani, Director General, Public Diplomacy Office The programme, which is being seen as a pilot project with the aim of building an annual intake and significant alumni of national expertise, will run until June 2019 when all 20 experts-in-the-making are expected to graduate.

They will then be guided into longer-term executive learning to help them attain a credible level of international standard, sector-specific expertise.

The 20 'experts-in-the-making' were selected following recommendations and in-depth interviews to establish knowledge of particular sectors, a strong desire to serve the nation and a long-term commitment to personal development and continuous learning.

The 20 are: Social Development: Sheikha Hassan Al Khayyat, a PMO senior research strategy & policy analyst who will specialize in Public Services & Administration; Khalifa Bin Hindi, analyst at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs & Future who will specialise in Community & Social Services; Afra Khalid Saeed Bintouq, a second year resident at Dubai Health Authority whose specialty will be Health & Wellbeing; Noora Ibrahim Al Mualla, Head of the Modern Arab Art Department of Sharjah Art Foundation who will focus on Culture; Khaled Al-Remeithi, Global Partnerships Division Manager for the Abu Dhabi department of Education & Knowledge whose area of expertise will be Education & Social Development and Abeer Mohammed Al Khaja, Fitness Development Manager, Zabeel Ladies Club who will focus on sports expertise.

Economic Development: Asma Mahmoud Fikri, Collaborating Researcher at the Rashid Center for Diabetes & Research who will specialize in research and development; Mahmoud Adi, Senior Associate Technology, Manufacturing & Mining at Mubadala Investment Company who will focus on business and financial services; Joud Al Marar, Senior External Affairs Officer, Louvre Abu Dhabi whose specialty will be tourism, retail & leisure; Yaqoob Al Shamsi, Research & Development Engineer at the Emirates Technology Innovation Centre, who will concentrate on manufacturing and Mariam Bader Al Meraikhi, Senior Executive Internal Communications at Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre who will specialize in the media and creative industries.

Infrastructure & Environment: Hadif Zamzam, Senior Associate at Al Dar Properties who will specialize in construction, asset development & management; Ammar Hasan Almarzooqi, Senior Managing Consultant, IBM Security Services, whose area of expertise will be smart government; Mohamed Al Sharhan, Projects Manager, Dubai Future Foundation will focus on logistics & transport; Khalifa Mohamed Alhemeiri, Rotating Machinery Engineer at ADNOC Offshore will focus on energy & economy while Abdullah Mohammed Al Remeithi, Acting Director Policy & Regulations at the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi will look to be an environment expert.

Security & International Affairs: Mohammed Al Qassimi, a specialist at the Signals Intelligence Agency will concentrate on security affairs; Noor Matar Almehairi, Bariatric Clinical Dietician from Healthpoint Hospital will focus on food security; Aisha Saeed Harib, Head of CSR for the Community Development Authority will specialize in foreign aid and philanthropy while Khalifa Al Suwaidi, senior communications specialist at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will specialize in diplomacy & international affairs.

Apart from their mentors, the 20 'experts-in-the-making' will be supported by national professionals and academic advisors who are top executives from leading organisations chosen for their achievements within the relevant sectors and who will assist participants with their capstone projects; a life coach who will assist the 'experts-in-the-making' on reflecting on their values and priorities to help unlock their hidden potential.

The National Experts Programme expands investment in human capital which has already included: the Moral Education program; Qudwa Teachers Forum; Early childhood program; Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars program; Harvard Kennedy School Fellowship program; Mohamed Bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations and Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs