The Emirates Foundation for Youth Development celebrated a decade-long partnership with Shell with an extended commitment to continue to nurture Emirati youth innovation as well as the growth of STEM learning ecosystems.
Founded and established in 2005 by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development is an independent philanthropic organization that strives to facilitate public-private funded initiatives to improve the welfare of youth all over the UAE.
The renewal of the annual partnership between Shell and the Emirates Foundation on December 12, 2016 reflects Shell’s commitment to developing UAE youth. In fact, this longstanding partnership between the two organizations dates back to the Emirates Foundation’s inception in 2005, only further proving the global energy leader’s dedication to the Middle Eastern country and their youth. The partnership aligns with Shell’s social investment visions, which include several initiatives ranging in focus, from the maintenance and protection of the environment to the development and promotion of general wellbeing and welfare.
As 2016 marks the conclusion of the 10th year of Shell and the Emirates Foundation’s relationship, the two organizations have decided to continue their focus on the nurturing of UAE youth. To do this, Shell will specifically be supporting various Emirate Foundation initiatives, particularly focused on Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, capacity building and community engagement.
Similar to the Shell and Emirates Foundation partnership, the US and UAE have also established partnerships in the energy category. In 2002, Occidental Petroleum of the US became an official international partner of Dolphin Energy, an Abu Dhabi based energy company. Additionally, ExxonMobil and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (ADNOC) have an established agreement with Abu Dhabi’s Upper Zakum oilfield.
Established partnerships have been the impetus behind the strong bilateral relationship the US and UAE share. From academic and business to energy and health care, the UAE and US have many constructive partnerships that have paved the way for financial benefits, enhanced local capabilities, and groundbreaking innovations in which both countries have profited from. In the US, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has been echoing his support for the establishment and continuation of US-UAE partnerships. In fact, while speaking to the Political Studies students of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, Ambassador Otaiba recently acknowledged the UAE as a strong economic partner to the US, as the UAE is the US’ largest export market in the Middle East.
Recently, the Education for USA Advising Centre at the US embassy in Abu Dhabi reported that the last decade has seen a 150% increase in the number of Emirati students opting to continue their education in the US.
The number of Emirati students choosing to travel to the US to continue their education has been steadily rising since the 2005 – 2006 academic year. Jumping from 1,158 students in the 2005 – 2006 academic year to a staggering 2,878 students in 2014 – 2015 academic year, the UAE has seen dramatic growth in this trend. And while 76% of the 2,878 students will be traveling to the US to work on their undergraduate degree, 12% will be pursuing post graduate studies.
However, the US has also noted similar trend among American students and their educational choices. There has been a 15.7% increase in the number of American students traveling to the UAE for their studies, growing from 634 students in the 2010 – 2011 academic year to 735 students in the 2014 – 2015 academic year.
The steady yet significant rise of Emirati students traveling to the US for educational purposes is due to a multitude of reasons. From the availability of scholarships to the numerous amount of courses offered, the US has become an attractive educational hub for students of the UAE.
During a recent interview with Gulf News, Barbara Leaf, the US ambassador to the UAE, discussed the amount of Emirati students traveling to the US for education. Leaf also stated that the steady increase in numbers is directly related to and reflective of the strengthening and expanding UAE-US relationship.
Since the UAE’s inception in 1971, the US and UAE have been working together to promote a better future. With common interests, values, and outlooks, the UAE has proved to be a reliable and strong ally to the US. As US and UAE relations and ties strengthen over time, key areas of bilateral cooperation and innovation continue to expand for the benefit of both countries.
Education has been a key area of bilateral cooperation for several decades and resulted in the establishment of several strategic partnerships between leading UAE and US academic institutions. These established partnerships allow the US and UAE to promote educational exchanges to ready and empower emerging leaders.
Boston, Massachusetts hosts several of these constructive partnerships, as the UAE has established programs with both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While on a recent visit to Boston, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba touched on the UAE’s deep educational ties the country has in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In Boston to celebrate the opening of the third UAE consulate in the US, Ambassador Al Otaiba noted the learning opportunities the city can offer through future bilateral cooperation due to its many organizations and institutions.
On October 24, 2016, Virgin Dubai’s ‘The Kris Fade Show’ had the opportunity to speak with Princess Haya bint Al Hussein and gain unique insight into royal life and the princess’s recent humanitarian work as a United Nations Messenger of Peace and chairperson of the International Humanitarian City in Dubai.
Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was designated as a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 2007. In this role, she focused on raising global awareness of UN Millennium Development Goals, like the eradication of extreme hunger and poverty. As a chairperson of the International Humanitarian City, Princess Haya recently visited Haiti to oversee an airlift of aide to help the country after hurricane Matthew caused devastating destruction in early October. Working with the World Food Programme, an official member of the IHC, Princess Haya helped to move almost 100 tons of supplies to the grief stricken country.
The International Humanitarian City is one of the twenty eight entities that make up Sheikh Mohammed Global Initiatives. The IHC is a non-profit, independent free-zone authority mandated to facilitate international humanitarian aid. Having nine UN agencies and almost fifty NGOs within their member pool, the IHC enables these aid agencies to reach victims of crises and help those suffering of hunger and poverty. Princess Haya noted that Sheikh Mohammed’s creation of the IHC is a testament to his vision of making the UAE a place of outreach, understanding, and tolerance.
Commitment to global humanitarian causes and outreach are values shared by the US and UAE. Both countries are united in their efforts to deliver assistance to areas of crises and eradicate the world of extreme poverty and hunger. With a similar outlook on humanitarian efforts, the UAE has provided support on several occasions to US communities in need of aid and reconstruction after devastating natural disasters. The UAE has provided the US with disaster-relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, and the 2011 tornado that destroyed the town of Joplin, Missouri.
In 2013, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba received the Distinguished Diplomatic Service Award on behalf of the World Affairs Council for his work in strengthening US and UAE relations as well as the extraordinary amount of support the UAE provided following Hurricane Sandy and the tornado in Joplin, Missouri. Under the Ambassador’s leadership, the UAE continues to aid in recovery and reconstruction efforts around the world and in the US, which only solidifies the country’s consistent and long-standing track record of philanthropy and charitable assistance.
On June 1st at RAND's Santa Monica headquarters, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba discussed what he saw as the UAE's progress as both an emerging power in the Middle East as well as a reliable ally of the United States. Though throughout history the Middle East has been a region plagued by war and extremism, a new generation is moving forward with a renewed hope for the future.
The UAE is growing into a nation that is about more than just petroleum exports, it is now a center of technology, with its greatest resource, its youth. For years, oil and gas dominated the local economy, however in the last two decades the UAE has has worked to diversify its economy so that oil and gas make up only 30 percent of the GDP. In addition, Ambassador Al Otaiba noted that the UAE is the largest U.S. export partner in the Arab world despite being a country of just 10 million people. To preserve the climate of trade and growing prosperity, the UAE has played a leading role in a fight against Iranian-backed forces in Yemen and joined the coalitions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
However, what was most important for the Ambassador to convey was his sense of optimism about the next generation of Middle Easterners. Al Otaiba gave the commencement address to 130 students from 58 countries graduating from New York University Abu Dhabi. With only three graduating classes, the university boasts six Rhodes scholars. The Ambassador rightly remarks that these students are clearly the best and brightest, and their world view is shaped in a unique way as members of the most diverse student body in the world.
The students are eager to shed the old way of doing things, and move forward in a world that embraces inclusivity and respect for all people around the world. “When I look ahead in the region, I see more Rhodes scholars and fewer terrorist recruits,” Al Otaiba said. “More Mars missions and fewer ballistic missiles, more women leaders and fewer Jihadi Janes, more online start-ups and fewer extremist websites. An Islam of peace and inclusion, not of extremes. In the UAE, this is our way forward.”
Following his inspirational address, the Ambassador took questions on other topics affecting the world’s perception of the UAE and Islam ranging from the nuclear deal to social media and yes even Donald Trump. To read the full Q&A visit.
The UAE city of Sharjah elected Khawla Al Mulla as its first female chairwoman to the Sharjah Consultative Consul. Al Mulla, who also currently serves as director of the Sharjah Family development center, was elected by sixty-seven percent of registered voters who turned out to cast ballots. Impressively, forty-two percent of the electorate were women.
The United Arab Emirates, is made up of seven Emirates, one of which is Sharjah. The Sharjah Consultative Council is an active partner to the Emirati Government of Sharjah in making decisions and issuing regulations.
The council’s decision to elect a woman represents a step forward and will serve to empower women to take leading roles in the Sharjah government and within the nation as a whole. As a native Emirati, Al Mulla graduated from UAE University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management Administration and a Master’s in Sociology. Her achievements in education are a sterling example of the opportunity that the UAE affords women.
Kwahla Al Mulla remarks, that “It is a testament to the keenness of the people of Sharjah to empower all segments of society, especially women, to highlight their leading role in serving the country and the emirate.” She feels a deep sense of pride and honor in the being the first woman to hold the position, and has made a special point to the thank Emirati leadership, notably Dr. Shaikh Sultan and his wife Shaikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, for their trust.
Al Mulla’s colleagues feel a similar sense of pride, remarking that she is extremely qualified for this position. Her reputation is one of accomplishment and competency and her work ethic will greatly benefit the people of Sharjah.
The United Arab Emirates National Day is held on December 2nd and this year marked the nation’s 44th anniversary. To celebrate, the UAE Embassy in the United States held a special National Day gala in Washington, DC. The high-profile bash was filled with top UAE and US officials, community members, business leaders, and media outlets.
The event was held at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, which proved to be the perfect backdrop for the event accompanying the UAE’s announcement of its Mission to Mars. This newly announced Mars mission has been named "Al Amal," which means “Hope.” The plan is for the probe to be launched in July 2020 and to reach Mars’ orbit sometime in 2021, which will be the nation’s 50th anniversary.
“Al Amal” will be the first satellite to orbit Mars with the purpose of collecting data on Mars’ weather, climate and atmosphere. The collection of this data will be incredibly helpful to international scientists and the mission as a whole will have a lasting impact on this field of research. “Al Amal” is yet another action taken by the UAE that solidifies itself as a leader for innovation.
The Director General of the UAE Space Agency, Dr. Mohamed Nasser Al Ahbabi, spoke highly about this new mission at the December 2nd event. Dr. Al Ahbabi believes that the “Al Amal” mission will continue UAE’s development and prosperity as an international leader.
At the event, UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba, shared a similar sentiment about the UAE’s history, present and future. He congratulated the country’s current and past leadership and citizens. Since its creation 44 years ago, the UAE has emerged as a leader. The celebration of the UAE’s 44th National Day and its future endeavors in space, represent the country’s focus on innovation, enterprise, technology and creativity.
In order to honor those who have been fighting towards eradicating polio, the Gates Foundation with the United Arab Emirates and others have created the inaugural Heroes of Polio Eradication (Hope) award. The award will be given out later this year at a reception in Abu Dhabi.
The creation of this award comes two years after the original formation of the international task force to eradicate polio. The task force - the Global Polio Eradication Initiative - was developed in April 2013 as a collaborative partnership between both private and public entities as well as over 200 countries. During a global submit in the UAE coordinated by Sheikh Mohammed and philanthropist Bill Gates, the initiative developed a six-year plan to eradicate polio worldwide. The initial project received over $4 billion in funding in order to do so.
The success of this initiative is evident through the decrease in the number of cases of polio since its inception. In Pakistan in particular, where over 85 million vaccines have been distributed, the number of cases of polio have decreased greatly. This has involved health workers traveling door-to-door in order to ensure that people in these areas were able to receive the vaccine. In doing so, they have also been able to distribute oral vaccines to more than 200 million children. In 2014, there were 328 reported cases in Pakistan. Currently in 2015, only 38 cases have been reported. Nigeria has not seen any new cases and was officially declared polio-free in September 2015. The UAE has also supported health workers to distribute vaccines in Afghanistan where polio has become less prevalent.
The Gates Foundation, the UAE and others hope that next year will be the year when there are no new cases of polio. No new cases of polio will be a huge step towards declaring polio to be internationally eradicated. In order to be declared completely eradicated, there must be three years of no cases and no signs of the disease in sewage systems. So while great progress has been made on this front, there is still more work to do. In a statement released on October 22, 2015, the UAE stated that it will continue its humanitarian efforts and face the challenges ahead until polio is officially eradicated.
The USA and the UAE are ranked number one and number two, respectively, in the world for their residential real estate investment potential according to the World Residential Investability Rankings. These rankings were developed by Savillis, international real estate developer, and are based off of key economic characteristics and variables, such as population growth, wealth and economic growth. The study examines which countries and cities have performed the best in the last five years and which countries and cities are hypothesized to perform well in the next five years in residential real estate investments.
The United States and the United Arab Emirates were clear frontrunners in the rankings because both countries’ population growth and wealth variables are very favorable to housing and residential prices for the next five years. Both countries also received a strong 5-year prognosis.
Specifically for the United States, its recent market recovery and basis for economic growth in the future made it stand out. The top markets for residential real estate in the United States include Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco. San Francisco, in particular, has the strongest 5-year prognosis for market growth out of all cities examined the rankings.
The UAE came in second based the potential of residential investments, the amount of domestic wealth creation increasing demand within the country. In particular, the market in Dubai in has also seen stronger domestic demand. This regional demand has been growing and is starting to overtake the role of overseas and international investments in the market. These rankings should also be an indicator to investors that they should buy into the UAE and Dubai markets, because of their strong potential to grow in the coming years said David Godchaux, CEO of Core Savills. Godchaux pointed out that the next five years in Dubai will also be positively impacted as Expo2020 approaches.
The rankings were released in Savills’ World Residential Markets: Performance and Prospects 2015-2016 report. This report was released just before the annual real estate convention Cityscape Global in Dubai. Other countries that were ranked in the report included Singapore, the United Kingdom, Spain, Caribbean, Australia, Portugal, Italy, France, China, Hong Kong, South Africa and Switzerland.
Over 1,200 cancer medical specialists from around the world will meet at the UAE Cancer Congress in Dubai at the end of October. Now in its seventh iteration, the UAE Cancer Congress is a three day conference focused on helping professionals achieve excellence in all areas of oncology and cancer care.
Attendees will come from a range of medical concentrations including oncology, radiology, surgery, nursing pathology, pharmacy and general practice. The UAE Cancer Congress provides a space for them to have open dialogues and discussions about how to better detect and treat cancer.
At the conference, participants will be able to attend various seminars on the latest medical trends and scientific studies as well as learn best practices from other experts. The University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Center based in Houston in conjunction with international institutions and centers will host showcases of their work and research. Targeted programs are also focused on specific areas and types of cancer such as Lung, Breast, Head and Neck, and many more. In these special programs, professional will go over case studies, debate different approaches and listen to panel discussions.
This year, the Cancer Congress has partnered with the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), an American association of nurses focused on cancer care. The ONS will host a unique program to help doctors better understand how to create stronger and more effective working partnerships with their nurses.
The American Hospital Dubai will also serve the principal Health Care sponsor at the Cancer Congress. The American Hospital Dubai is a private hospital that provides an American standard of health care and medical treatment to the residents of Dubai and surrounding countries in and around the Gulf Coast. The CEO of the American Hospital, Peter Makowski, expressed his excitement surrounding the UAE Cancer Congress. He stated the American Hospital Dubai is excited to play such a large role in the event this year as well as in the long term future to help shape Dubai into an international center for the health care industry
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba