ABU DHABI – The Crown Prince Court held the two-day Mohammed bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations event at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center on March 7 and 8.
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan delivered a closing speech at the event urging the future generation to learn skills that will make them globally competitive.
“You are better than us and you have to be better than us – there is no option, you have to be better than your fathers and grandfathers,” he said, to the 3,000 Emirati students in attendance.
The UAE is shifting from oil towards a knowledge-based economy and therefore will require generations of young engineers and scientists, said the crown prince.
“The UAE is going through a stage where the key component of our economy, which is oil, is coming to an end,” he said.
“This will happen in your lifetime, not mine, which is why we need to secure our homeland from now. We bet the UAE will be No 1 with your education, and we will not settle for No 2.”
The sheikh stressed the importance of having Emirati engineers as according to him, it is one of the most important skills for tomorrow’s UAE.
“We need engineering, we cannot have enough of it,” he said. “A career should be a profession, not a hobby.
“Although we live in an unstable region that has challenges and different viewpoints, I am very optimistic by nature and I believe that the UAE today is more like a light that illuminates a dark land.
“You are the real wealth, not the 3 million barrels of oil. You are the future of this nation’s security and safety net. We are in a good condition now but we want to establish the vision for 50 years ahead.
“I am certain from what I have witnessed from my simple interaction with bright minds and hopeful optimistic faces that we are betting on the right people and the right generation for the future of the UAE,” he said.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed encouraged the students to learn from other countries and cultures because “25 years from now in your generation, you will have to deal with other countries to make our own Emirati companies profitable.”
He also called upon them to act as representatives for their country.
“We should never be arrogant when it comes to the reputation of our country and anything positive you do is an Emirati deed, so all of us are responsible for shaping, introducing and projecting a positive image of the UAE,” he said.
Apart from the speech, the event also featured discussions and workshops on topics such as entrepreneurship, urban development, smart cities, and cyber security.
It aimed to help young Emiratis think of their career options, their future ambitions and the skills they will need in tomorrow’s world.