The fourth edition of the National Experts Program (NEP) by the National Experts, has opened for applicants. The 12-month programme will include a cohort of technical experts across 20 sectors, supporting the technological landscape and contributing to the UAE’s centennial vision for economic growth.

Established in 2019, under the direction of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, NEP serves as a launchpad for UAE National technical experts who aim to play a role in future-growth sectors aligned with the UAE’s national priorities. The programme cultivates a community of professionals recognised as the most exemplary and forward-thinking technical experts in their field and equips them with specialised expertise to address challenges within the global context.

The fourth edition will focus on enhancing the skills and knowledge of 20 technical experts across three key clusters: Economic Growth, Social Development, and Sustainability and Infrastructure, with one applicant chosen to represent each of the sectors that are central to achieving the UAE’s strategic objectives.

His Excellency Ahmed Talib Al Shamsi, Director of the National Experts Program, said: “The fourth edition underscores our steadfast dedication to nurturing talent and cultivating technical expertise in sectors vital to the future growth of the UAE, aligning closely with our national priorities. Building on the success of the first three cohorts, the upcoming edition has been meticulously developed to meet the evolving needs of the UAE within a complex global context and rapidly changing technological landscape.

“As the UAE strengthens its position as a leading global hub for trade, tourism, and commerce, the National Experts Program presents an unparalleled opportunity for aspiring Emiratis to not only influence our nation's growth trajectory but also emerge as leaders in their respective domains. We are confident that this edition will empower participants with specialised expertise, enabling them to play a pivotal role in advancing the UAE’s development and shaping a brighter future for citizens and residents.”

Applicants must have at least 10 years of experience, including five years in their sector, and have contributed to strategic projects addressing national priorities. To enhance the current method of gathering and managing information, this year’s edition will incorporate AI into the application process to provide a more engaging and effective selection process. This will include a skills and personality analysis, an AI interview, and an overall AI-driven reporting system to streamline and enrich the participants selection process.

Set to introduce five new sectors in its fourth edition, participants in the upcoming programme will represent the fields of economic development; advanced sciences and research; technology and innovation; artificial intelligence; space; media; tourism and hospitality; banking and finance; and defense as part of the Economic Growth cluster, while Social Development will include those working in culture and identity; education; health and wellbeing; community development and social services; government services; philanthropy; and foreign affairs. UAE Nationals who hold roles within the sectors of environment and climate change; mobility and logistics; food and water security; and energy and renewables will join the Sustainability and Infrastructure cluster.

NEP’s tailor-made programme combines mentorship by influential government and private sector leaders with the expertise of academic partners from around the world to instill five key mindsets for lifelong learning: Reflective, Analytical, Worldly, Collaborative and Action.

Developed in partnership with local and international academic and sector leaders, the programme will enable participants to further specialise in their chosen sectors, leverage their skills and knowledge to act decisively, and help drive the UAE’s future growth.

The 12-month programme comprises a nine-month academic programme and three-month rotation module, the fourth edition will include further options for personalising coursework, allowing participants to work alongside both their advisors and mentors to chart a course that aligns with their individual professional, personal and sector-specific development needs. 

The programme will also include collaborative activities and immersive experiences, offering a combination of in-field work and classroom learning. Combining their existing sector experience with learnings from the program curriculum, NEP is designed to hone participants’ leadership skills and expertise while contributing to sector-specific transformative projects of national impact. To date, 61 Emiratis from a wide range of backgrounds have graduated from the three first editions of the National Experts Program.