Young Emiratis, potential leaders in the UAE's growing private sector, gathered in Abu Dhabi at the Kafa'at Leadership Camp launched by Emirates Foundation for Youth Development.
The camp, which will run for three consecutive weekends, is developing the leadership and communication abilities of young Emiratis, providing them with the soft skills necessary to navigate challenges in the private sector workplace.
Under the umbrella of the Kafa'at Programme, one of the six programmes run by Emirates Foundation, the camp targets university level students and is part of the Kafa'at Youth Leadership Project, which aims to help young Emiratis achieve their career aspirations within the public sector and build fulfilling personal lives.
Kafa'at was launched in March by heikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Co-operation, during the Foundation's quarterly organised Social Investment Forum.
Based on international standards, Kafa'at training through the leadership camp is delivered through a combination of theoretical learning and outdoors exercises encouraging participants to discover the importance of each learning style through a variety of challenges. It works on their communication skills and develops their use of English and their understanding of leadership and management terminology.
Foundation's Chief Programme's Officer Maytha Al Habsi said the Kafa'at Programme ran two important projects: the Kafa'at Youth Leadership Project (which is holding the weekend camps) and the Mentorship Project. "Both projects have the vision to be the driving force for developing competitive talent through equipping young nationals to work in the private sector," Habsi said "We are trying to help young Emiratis understand the importance of working within the private sector and its contribution to the development of the UAE." Al Habsi referred to a 2011 study commissioned by the Foundation that showed a majority of private sector companies had misinterpreted Emiratisation and were employing Emiratis to meet quotas and avoid penalties rather than as a strategic investment.
"At the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development we are committed to developing empowered and competitive Emirati talent," Al Habsi concluded.