Focus Areas

Educating the Next Generation

Youth and Education


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The United Arab Emirates, recognizing the importance of youth to the realization of economic diversification efforts and national visions, has invested heavily in youth programs and education.

The 2016 appointment of then-22-year-old H.E. Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui to the position of Minister of State for Youth Affairs demonstrates the extent of the country’s commitment to listening to the needs and aspirations of its next generation of citizens. The Minister’s vision has resulted in forward-thinking initiatives including youth hubs, empowerment programs, and the provision of resources to budding entrepreneurs, researchers, and programmers.

The U.A.E.’s commitment to its next generation extends into higher education. The country has long provided motivated Emirati youth with access to scholarships to study at top-tier universities, either abroad or in the U.A.E. In this regard, the United States has become a top destination for Emirati students, with thousands of Emirati students studying in the U.S. at any one time.

Still, the U.S.-U.A.E. partnership in higher education goes beyond the classic model of foreign students and educational exchanges. Leading U.S. institutions have formed key partnerships with the U.A.E. to support higher education in the U.A.E. itself. Most notably, New York University Abu Dhabi, inaugurated in 2010, has quickly brought the highest standards of education to the U.A.E., producing no less than 14 Rhodes Scholars in 7 years (more Rhodes Scholars per student than any university in the world). Other U.S.-U.A.E. higher education partnerships include MIT’s exchange with Masdar Institute, and the Berklee Institute of Music’s location in Abu Dhabi.

The Business Council is proud of the role it has played in supporting and promoting NYU Abu Dhabi and other U.S.-U.A.E. collaborations in higher education. The Council has also enjoyed providing internships to promising ADIA scholars and other Emirati students for the past half decade. Finally, the Council has been a proud supporter of U.S. youth delegations to the U.A.E. and youth-focused events in the U.A.E. such as the FIRST Global Challenge Robotics Competition.

The Business Council looks forward to continued engagement with academic leadership in the U.S. and U.A.E. to support research partnerships, cross-border exchanges, and joint initiatives to cultivate the next generation of world.

Key Institutions