The National Experts Program (NEP) contributes to the development of 15 Emirati specialists over a rigorous eight-month programme that combines academics, immersive work experience, and one-on-one mentoring by sector leaders to foster knowledge exchange and innovative thinking. Now in its third edition, NEP focuses on three strategic clusters: Economic Growth, Social Development, and Sustainability and Infrastructure. The programme is an initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.

With the UAE hosting the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) this year, this edition places added emphasis on sustainability.The learning and development programme supports the UAE’s strategic vision and fosters the development of sector leaders by cultivating specialised expertise and leadership skills in outstanding UAE-National professionals and equipping them to make a transformative impact on key social and economic sectors. 

Through work sharing, shadowing, networking and other experiential activities, a selection of high-level, industry-leading mentors accelerate the personal and professional development of NEP participants, further cementing the value of lifelong learning, innovation and education as key pillars in the nation’s ongoing progress. 

His Excellency Ahmed Talib Al Shamsi, Director of the National Experts Program, said: “The National Experts Program, created to contribute to the UAE’s long-term strategic economic development, will be an essential platform to recognise promising young leaders and nurture the next generation of Emirati talent. The third edition’s participants were selected from nearly 900 applicants through a competitive selection process.” 

The list of mentors and participants includes: 

Economic Growth:

  • Economic Development:

Mentor: His Excellency Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy

Participant: Mohamed Tarmoom, Senior Associate, UAE Investments at Mubadala Investment Company

  • Media and Creative Economy:

Mentor: Her Excellency Mona Al Marri, Director-General of the Dubai Government Media Office

Participant: Waheeda Alhadhrami, Director of National Cultural and Creative Industries Promotion Department at the Ministry of Culture and Youth

  • Space:

Mentor: His Excellency Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director-General at Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre

Participant: Abdulla Alshehhi, Head of Strategic Research at the UAE Space Agency

  • Technology and Innovation:

Mentor: Peng Xiao, Group CEO at G42

Participant: Dr. Abdulla Al Shimmari, CEO at

  • Advanced Sciences and Research:

Mentor: Professor Eric Xing, President at Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence

Participant: Dr. Ameena Al Sumaiti, Associate Professor at Khalifa University

  • Tourism and Hospitality:

Mentor: Haitham Mattar, Managing Director at IHG Hotels and Resorts

Participant: Aisha Al Matrooshi, Tourism Sector Industry Development Section Head, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi 

Social Development:

  • Education:

Mentor: His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education

Participant: Hareth Alhashmi, Director of Strategy Success at the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority

  • Culture:

Mentor: His Excellency Omar Saif Ghobash, Ambassador to the Holy See and Assistant Minister for Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Participant: Eman Al Mughairy, Head of Communication at Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy

  • Community Development and Social Services:

Mentor: Her Excellency Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, State Minister

Participant: Talal Faris, Division Manager, Family and Community Division at Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development

  • Policy and Government Services:

Mentor: Her Excellency Maryam Al Hammadi, Secretary General at the UAE Cabinet, and State Minister

Participant: Salama Alfalasi, Senior Programmer and Chairwoman of Dubai Police Young Leaders Council at Dubai Police Headquarters

  • Health and Well-Being:

Mentor: Dr. Jorge A. Guzman, Chief Executive Officer of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Participant: Fatima Al Ali, Project Manager at Mubadala Health

Sustainability and Infrastructure:

  • Energy and Renewables:

Mentor: His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology

Participant: Saood Alnoori, Head of Diplomatic Engagement at the Office of the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change

  • Food and Water Security:

Mentor: Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment

Participant: Hamad Alshehhi, Investment Manager at ADQ

  • Mobility and Logistics:

Mentor: His Excellency Falah Mohamed Al Ahbabi

Participant: Abdulla Alhaidan, Project Manager, Project Management and Group Planning at DP World

  • Environment and Climate Change:

Mentor: Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi

Participant: Maitha Al Hameli, Section Manager – Marine Assessment & Conservation at the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi