Ghadan is ensuring more access to affordable education through extra investment in the education system
Creating a sustainable, knowledge-based economy is a key part of the mission of Abu Dhabi’s AED 50 billion (US$13.6bn) government accelerator programme, Ghadan 21. However, Abu Dhabi is also a strong advocate for continuous societal development and the Leadership firmly believes it should go in tandem with the emirate’s economic growth.
So, in the final part of our feature to mark the first year of the three-year programme, we look at the initiatives introduced so far that are ensuring an inclusive environment for today’s families and future generations.
The first step starts at home - literally. So far, about 6,000 new housing loans have been introduced to ensure that all Emiratis have access to safe and affordable housing and services, with AED 11.6 billion worth of houses and land distributed.
Ghadan is also ensuring more access to affordable education through extra investment in the education system. For example, the Affordable Schools initiative has seen 12 new Charter Schools, which are public schools previously run by the government, but now run by the private sector, opened across Abu Dhabi over the past year, with 15,000 school places added. At the same time, almost 6,000 places have been added in affordable schools, with 9,000 more planned.
Meanwhile, employment opportunities are also being created and skills training provided across organisations including EY, KPMG, SEHA, Etihad and Mubadala.
Finally, a new authority – Ma’an Authority for Social Contribution – has been launched under the Department of Community Development (DCD) to grow the social sector and support a culture of social contribution and participation. Ma’an has already graduated 10 social businesses focused on solutions for people of determination as well launched a second incubator cycle to find innovative solutions for mental wellbeing challenges. It has also rolled out community volunteering initiatives and started work on introducing the GCC’s first Social Impact Bond.
The success of such initiatives reflects the warmth of the people of Abu Dhabi and their passion to help others as socially responsible citizens.
The first 12 months of Ghadan 21 has seen significant success in accelerating Abu Dhabi’s development as a place where businesses, innovative ideas and diverse people can not only grow, but thrive.
The local population are seeing their city transformed, transport overhauled, education systems enhanced and jobs created, while these programmes are also preparing the economy and workforce for the challenges that lie ahead.
The next 12 months will see the launch of even more incentive schemes and deregulatory measures, which will streamline processes in Abu Dhabi’s economic sectors and business environment even further and enhance the Emirate’s position as an ideal place to do business.
Abu Dhabi’s future is rapidly taking shape.
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