His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, today attended the opening ceremony of Parenthood: The Unconference – the first parenting event of its kind in the world, organised by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) at Etihad Arena on Yas Island.  

His Highness met with global child development and education experts participating in the event, which runs from 2-4 November and aims to empower parents to raise thriving, resilient children. The innovative new conference is organised around five themes – Identity, Development, Health & Wellbeing, New Perspectives, and Early Childhood – and highlights Abu Dhabi’s commitment to enhancing family wellbeing and providing a world-class education for the next generation. Over three days, the event will host more than 60 local, regional and international experts in a series of talks, panel discussions, and workshops.

The event was also attended by Her Excellency Sara Awadh Issa Musallam, Minister of State for Early Education, Chairperson of the Federal Authority for Early Education, and Chairperson of ADEK; His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minster of Education; Her Excellency Sarah Bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology; His Excellency Dr. Mugheer Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development; His Excellency Abdulla Bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi; and His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

In her opening address, HE Sara Awadh Issa Musallam said: “We know there’s an appetite for more parental support and this event is our first line of response, aligned with the UAE’s goals to deliver an even higher quality of life for all. Today, and over the next three days, we are bringing together old and new knowledge to support and empower parents, families, caregivers, educators and ultimately, the children and youngsters whose lives we influence. We are here to reframe the entire parental debate by putting children’s needs at the very centre.”

Following the opening ceremony, Her Excellency Sarah Bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, Her Excellency Neo Masisi, First Lady of Botswana, and Dr. Shefali Tsabary, clinical psychologist, joined a panel discussion under the theme ‘Third culture: raising global citizens while staying local’.

The first day of Parenthood: The Unconference saw thousands of educators, parents and caregivers come together to connect, interact, learn and to engage in a dialogue about parenting in the modern age.