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YAL Educational Session for Taqaddam Winning Students

Dec 5, 2018
In5 Tech and Expo 2020 Dubai

Young Arab Leaders Hosts Educational Session for British Council-HSBC Taqaddam Winners

Fostering entrepreneurship and innovation by driving public and private-sector collaborations

Dubai, UAE - 12 December 2018: Young Arab Leaders rewarded the winning students of the Taqaddam Programme by organising a 6-hour educational session last December 5. The 5-part full-day event was hosted at In5 Tech and Expo 2020 Dubai Visitor Centre.

With the success of the session, YAL Chairwoman Mrs. Muna Al Gurg, announced that “This collaboration relegates Young Arab Leaders as an organisation that recognises the remarkable ingenuity of the youth. With their winning ideas, the students can be distinguished as enviable future leaders of our nation who regard the significance of entrepreneurship, innovation, sustainability, and social responsibility.”

Taqaddam, Arabic for ‘Moving Forward’, is an innovative programme run in partnership between HSBC and British Council that supports the development of life skills with young people and their educators across several countries in MENA.

Gemma Barlow, Head of Programmes at the British Council in the UAE, noted that “With the speed at which AI and machine learning are developing, it is crucial that we work now to prepare young people with the skills thy will need in the future. Taqaddam’s approach is cutting-edge -  it aims to take students on a growth mindset journey and we are delighted to have been able to give the winning students from the programme the opportunity to connect them with role models who challenged and inspired their thinking.”

The winning cohorts comprise of 12 to 18-year old students from 4 schools across Dubai whose interests and ambitions are into the areas of entrepreneurship, technology, healthcare, fashion, and others. Al Salam Private School presented an idea about a bicycle generator that drives electricity sustainably while simultaneously increasing fitness and health. GEMS Metropole advocates for environmental sustainability by collecting empty plastic bottles and turning them into bins; or getting them extruded to flakes, spun to fiber, and knitted to yarn to make clothes and bracelets. High time, a mobile app by New Model School, aims to help the youth get constantly motivated and to focus more in achieving their goals. Gulf Indian School came up with a locomotive wheelchair featuring an attached machine that can detect obstacles.

Opening the session, Amna Al Haddad, Emirati weightlifting champion known for breaking the glass ceiling for her local and international sporting achievements, shared an inspirational presentation about heeding one’s inner strength. Hind Sergieh, founder of Arkub Interactive that launched the first all-sports virtual reality arcade in the UAE located in the state-of-the-art VR Park at Dubai Mall, talked about her beginnings and the power of determination that led her to a successful personal and professional journey. Heba Sayed, who leads the strategy development of her unit at IBM, provided the students with a highly-interactive workshop highlighting the significance of design thinking among the youth. Championing young inventors in every home, Junkbot’s Co-Founder Ehtesham P.A. pounded on the critical role of STEAM concepts and fun learning while fully encouraging the students to recycle, invent, and learn.

Young Arab Leaders relies on a strong and connected network of private and public-sector support. In5 Tech, launched by TECOM Group, is an enabling platform for entrepreneurs and startups fostering innovation and helping new ideas reach the marketplace. Expo 2020 Dubai brings to life the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creative the Future’ by offering engaging and inspiring activities for the youth while exploring the legacy of world-changing innovations. Geared towards a long-term knowledge partnership, Young Arab Leaders and British Council will continue to foster critical thinking, leadership skills, and an entrepreneurial mindset among the youth.


About Young Arab Leaders

Young Arab Leaders (YAL) is an independent, non-profit organization founded during the World Economic Forum in 2004 by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. YAL focuses on empowering the next generation of leaders in the Arab world by developing and bringing together a strong network of business leaders and industry experts and launching collaborative and educational initiatives to ensure young Arab entrepreneurs get the support, guidance and opportunities they need to succeed.

For more information on Young Arab Leaders, visit:

About British Council

The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities: the business of building trust and understanding between nations. The British Council’s office in the United Arab Emirates is one of over 100 worldwide. The office was established 46 years ago and is one of our most important operations today. It works in three key areas: arts, English and education, with a focus on young people.

For more information on British Council, visit: