UAE is now a talent exporting nation, says minister

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan says the emirates is having 'a huge impact on the world'
UAE is now a talent exporting nation, says minister
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates. (Getty Images)
By Staff writer
Tue 10 Feb 2015 03:22 PM

The UAE traditionally has a large expatriate community but the emirates is increasingly becoming a source nation for talented workers around the world, a senior government minister said.

“We are no longer importing talent but we are now exporting talent. We are exporting talent and competencies in the field of aeronautics, real estate and port management,” HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, said on Tuesday during a speech at the second day of the Government Summit in Dubai.

“We are investing for the future… we want Emirati youth to show good sense of leadership and be innovative…. We are a small country but we have a huge impact on the world,” he added.

The UAE has traditionally had a large expatriate workforce, with local Emiratis making up just 16.6 percent of the total population. Other Arabs account for around 23 percent, while Southern Asians account for around 42.3 percent.

However, the government’s focus on education has meant that the labour flow is now working both ways and talented Emiratis are now making an impact abroad.

Sheikh Abdullah pointed to the fact that when the UAE was created in 1971, 50 percent of men and 30 percent of women were able to read and write. As a result of the focus on the educational sector, this figure has now risen to 90 percent for both men and women, he added.

With 1,200 educational establishments now in the UAE and diplomatic relations with 107 nations worldwide, official figures confirm that many Emiratis are seeking employment abroad and acting as ambassadors for their country overseas.

Figures show that around 200 Emirati students are studying in Malaysia, while a small number are also studying in Pakistan and India.

A few thousand are also estimated to be working in North American, while over 5,400 Emiratis are studying and living in the United Kingdom.

Other regions with significant Emirati populations include Australia (over 1,700), Germany (2,390) and Denmark (220).

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