His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sandooq Al Watan, accompanied by His Excellency Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, a large number of local and intellectual leaders in the UAE, members of the Board of Directors of Sandooq Al Watan, and numerous partners and donors, at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), has inaugurated the activities of the open day organised by Sandooq Al Watan, titled ‘Contributions of Sandooq Al Watan in Providing Productive Job Opportunities for Emirati Citizens’, to shed light on the most important initiatives and successful experiences of Emirati citizens in the field of entrepreneurship, directly supported by the fund, and affirm its message and continuous contribution to providing all opportunities for Emirati citizens and enabling them to actively participate in development and progress efforts in the country, the region and the world.

His Excellency honoured the graduates of the Jusoor programme, and attended part of the discussion sessions, and selected projects funded by supporting and empowering emerging businesses for Emirati youth.

In his opening speech, His Excellency stressed that Sandooq Al Watan focuses, during the activities of the open day, to review its initiatives and programmes that aim to empower people, and contribute to building and developing the national workforce, which is equipped with knowledge and capabilities that participate in raising productivity, building a knowledge-based economy and enhancing the ability to compete successfully in all fields and at all levels, through tangible results and successful experiences that the citizens of the UAE have achieved in many fields.

His Excellency said: “The United Arab Emirates, under the wise leadership and the continuous work of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is a country beloved by its people, strong with its leaders, pioneering with its system and institutions, in which the people fuse with the leadership and unite on an important national goal, which is human development, and we in the UAE are fully convinced that our success in human development is a deep embodiment of a confident look towards the future, as well as a clear and authentic expression of patriotism, belonging to society, and loyalty to the state and leadership.

“I take this opportunity to thank President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and express the highest meanings of gratitude and respect, in appreciation of his strong support, and his unwavering commitment to providing all possible opportunities for Emirati citizens, to enable them to contribute to all of the nation’s activities and achievements. I also thank His Highness for his strong support for Sandooq Al Watan and its goals and objectives that align with the service of the nation’s society and people.”

On the important principles that form Sandooq Al Watan’s work system, His Excellency said: “Today, I assure you, as you are about to get acquainted with the activities and programmes of Sandooq Al Watan in the fields of providing productive job opportunities for Emirati citizens, of a number of basic principles that govern the fund's work in this important field, and these principles have been identified within the framework of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.

“The first principle is that talking about human development in the UAE focuses on the future and our capabilities to face this future, and about the role of Emiratis in shaping the nation’s features and defining its forms, while the second principle is that the way to achieve human development in the UAE depends on adopting high expectations for achievement at all levels, and working together in order for every member of society to be equipped with the knowledge and capabilities that enable him to work productively in this era. The third principle of Sandooq Al Watan affirms that successful development requires attentiveness to all segments of the population, men and women alike.”

His Excellency pointed out that the fourth principle focuses on the importance of working to increase the percentage of citizens in the private sector, and exerting every effort to motivate all companies and private sector institutions to attract citizens, within the framework of the private sector being a pioneering model in societal responsibility, which is embodied in complete care to achieve happiness and stability for the nation’s citizens, in light of the full conviction that this leads to the success and prosperity of the private sector itself.

He added that Sandooq Al Watan’s fifth principle confirms the commitment to support the ability of the country's citizens in the field of entrepreneurship, the establishment of new companies, and support all efforts aimed at transforming their beneficial ideas into practical and successful commercial applications, whether it is related to providing the necessary financing sources for them, or methods of training, guidance and advice, as the fund works to encourage and assist entrepreneurs, providing them with opportunities for success, and working with them to strengthen communication with their peers inside and outside the country.

On the sixth principle of Sandooq Al Watan, His Excellency explained that the principle focuses on human development being the responsibility of all, and that its success requires their solidarity, through effective programmes to educate, train, and learn from successful international experiences, as well as taking into account the results of research, studies and proper planning, making everyone aware of the desired goals and objectives, and relying on clear methods of follow-up and evaluation of results.

His Excellency said: "All of the fund's principles are completely clear in the initiatives and programmes that were presented, whether in those initiatives and programmes that are based on preparing graduates to join private sector jobs, or those that focus on developing entrepreneurship skills in various fields, and helping citizens to successfully establish their companies, in addition to working to find an effective mechanism for coordinating the work of entrepreneurship incubators in the country.

“The fund's programmes also include training citizens to deal with the digital world and helping them transform this ability into an economic production resource for them, where they will present their projects, which the fund is sponsoring, in addition to celebrating a number of success stories in this field.

“The fund's role in relying on studies and research aimed at deepening channels of communication and dialogue between all institutions of society in the areas of employment of graduates is also reviewed, and in particular, contributing to the development of the role of the private sector in the state in human empowerment. Linked to all this is an intensive programme to encourage citizens of all ages, especially school students, to excel and achieve in the fields of programming, artificial intelligence and smart machines, and to assist them in this field, which is now considered an important part of the knowledge-based economy in the region and the world.”

His Excellency explained that the work in Sandooq Al Watan aims to achieve close cooperation with all institutions of society to ensure benefit from all capabilities, and the fund seeks to be an important link between Emirati citizens on the one hand, and ministries, agencies, schools, universities, private sector institutions, and civil society institutions on the other hand, in order to achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

His Excellency valued the efforts of Sandooq Al Watan's partners, who participated in the open day, appreciating their strong support for the fund's programmes and initiatives, and their full readiness to provide the expertise, consultations and resources necessary to achieve success in this important national effort.

At the end of his speech, His Excellency emphasised that the open day of the Sandooq Al Watan is an affirmation of the great confidence in the fund's message, programmes and initiatives, and the keenness to provide all conditions for its success, and to deepen the fund's position in the nation's march.

For his part, His Excellency Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar said: “We meet today, as we are proud of the presence of an elite group of our citizens who have the spirit of innovation, confidence, challenge and determination in their journey towards entrepreneurship, which falls in line with the vision of the wise leadership for the future of the country based on sustainable development and economic and societal innovation, and the consolidation of our development model based on empowering individual initiatives and the private sector and building partnerships with it.

“Thanks to the wise vision of leadership, the UAE economy deals with more than 200 countries as a trading partner, which requires enhancing the flexibility and ability of the economy to compete in this ever-changing global environment, maintaining its competitive advantages and ensuring the highest levels of economic growth and social welfare.”

For this purpose, His Excellency stressed, the UAE government has built the appropriate momentum to move forward in enhancing its potential for sustainable growth, by targeting an increase in the share of clean energy to 50 per cent by 2050, as well as an increase in industrial GDP by AED300 billion by 2031, as this constitutes great opportunities for the advancement of the national economy, the growth of Emirati startups, and the empowerment of entrepreneurial investors.

His Excellency said: “Nurturing and developing entrepreneurial capabilities requires continuous work to instill and consolidate this culture and adapt it through an integrated and effective system, starting from a proactive educational system, leading to a labor market capable of absorbing new talents and business ideas. Therefore, the government is working to create such an effective system by facilitating integration between the educational environment and the labor market through research and development programmes jointly designed to develop talents, establishing experimental laboratories and incubators, in addition to financing and providing access to capital.”

In turn, His Excellency continued, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation is committed to developing Emirati talents wishing to join the labor market, whether as employees or as entrepreneurs.

His Excellency Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar concluded: "I turn to our youth, in whom we trust, to tell them that the doors are open for you to participate in shaping the features and realising the vision of the nation, which constitutes a model for countries that invest in the future, rely on its capabilities and its youth to be a driving force towards a brighter future."

Discussion sessions: The vision of experts and youth on entrepreneurship and the private sector

In the first session on job opportunities in the private sector, Yasser Al Garagawi, Director-General of Sandooq Al Watan, affirmed that the fund is exerting great and continuous efforts to empower the nation’s youth from the private sector. He reviewed the efforts of Sandooq Al Watan in the field of employment in the private sector, as well as the work method adapted in the Jusoor programme as an example of this approach.

As for the second session, the topic of Entrepreneurship and the Creation of Opportunities was presented, in which the international expert, Jean-Luc, spoke about the possibility of employment by creating new jobs through emerging businesses and entrepreneurship by establishing communication networks between all emerging projects to integrate their roles and to establish different forms of cooperation among them to assist in employment success and sustainability.

In the third session on Research on Employment Opportunities in the Private Sector, Dr. Georgia Delor spoke about the results of the field research that deal with employment opportunities for citizens in the private sector and the successes and challenges surrounding this topic.

The open day included the selection of funded projects by supporting and empowering emerging businesses for Emirati youth, in coordination with universities and business incubators spread across the country, which are sponsored by various institutions.

Sandooq Al Watan also organised a training course on Free Digital Work for 80 trainees, through which citizens received training in dealing with the digital world by providing them with various fields of work, as well as opportunities to establish their own businesses and companies, in addition to the methods for marketing their creative digital productions.