Youth Circles – UAE

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UAE has a population of 9.157 million and GDP US$370.296 billion. While unemployment rate is 3.7%, unemployment among female youth (9.6%) is higher than that among male youth (2.8%). UAE has the highest average of educational attainment compared to other Arab countries (10.2 school years). More than 20% of Emirati youth had volunteered in an organization in 2014

Emirates Youth Council, comprised of thirteen youth members, initiated youth circles which seek to respond to central questions via discussions and recommendations inspired by youth. Youth Circles, comprised of young people from different genders, age groups, and fields, allows youth to express their opinions on issues in society, to advocate for policy change, and to influence youth leadership.


Implementation of programme/ initiative:

Youth Circles by Emirates Youth Council is an initiative by Prime Minister of UAE. Youth Circles aims at engaging young people to discover their opinions, aspirations, and answers about a topic, receiving their feedback on future projects and policies, collecting recommendations and data from youth, obtaining ideas to develop solutions or shape policies, and sharing a broad message with youth.


Main challenges:

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Results achieved:

Since April 2016, youth attended 26 circles which explored youth and future skills, youth and entrepreneurship, youth and finance, Emirati women in workforce, youth and tolerance, engaging and empowering youth for a sustainable future, skills-based education for social impact, and youth’s role in implementing UAE’s 2021 vision. In February 2016, Youth Council members participated in the World Government Summit – Shaping Future Governments. In November 2016, Youth Council members participated in the UAE student forum in Washington DC, which provides students with opportunity to share their experiences, as well as meet with UAE advisors, leaders, and companies. At this event, the council launched the Emirates Global Youth Council.

The circles resulted in implementation several  projects, including:

  • The launch of 100 mentor program which resulted in the nomination of 100 experts to act as mentors for Emirati youth and continuously develop their skills
  • Partnering with Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai to develop youth enterprise support initiative
  • Drafting the agenda of UAE youth sending two youth representatives to discuss it in the United Nations Youth Delegates Program
  • Launching Youth Data Hub, a partnership with LinkedIn to collect data on youth contributing to future policy advocacy and decision making
  • Launching of Kafa’at Internship Fair, a partnership with Emirates Foundation to provide internship opportunities for students
  • Launching of Future Innovators Academy 2017, a one month innovation program, for Emirati youth aged 17-25 years


Moving Forward:

  • Future youth circles will continue to be conducted with a goal to continuously organize youth-centred dialogues addressing diverse areas to ensure sustainable participation of youth in contributing to innovative solutions for global challenges.



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AHDR 2016

World Bank, 2016

International Labor Organization, 2016


Project Details

Date: October 10, 2017

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