Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Founding Chairman, Al Habtoor Group welcomed a team from McKinsey & Company at his office. The delegation was led by Professor Dr Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, the Secretary General of The University Leadership Consortium (ULC) and the BUNYAN Initiative for the Capacity-Building of the UAE youth.
McKinsey has been entrusted with the mission of assisting the ULC leadership, as knowledge partner in shaping the strategy of the University Leadership Consortium of the UAE, which brings together leading academic institutions of higher learning and prominent figures from industry in mutually enhancing dialogues aimed at solid knowledge generation under the honorary chairmanship of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development.
To enhance the ongoing triangulated dialogue between academia, the private sector, and the public sector, McKinsey & Company is leading an in-depth study on behalf of the ULC focusing on how the public sector, private sector, and academia can work closely together to support the development of a knowledge-based economy in the United Arab Emirates as it becomes less dependent on oil, and enhance human capital and the capacity-building of the UAE youth.
The Chairman was the first private sector figure that the delegation visited to provide insights about the best guidance and potential initiatives to enhance the capacity-building of the UAE youth, and the ongoing triangulated dialogue the ULC has been facilitating and undertaking in tandem between academia, industry, and government officials, for the benefit of knowledge generation and a robust knowledge economy, in line with UAE leadership strategic vision.
Chairman Al Habtoor and the delegation talked about the role the private sector can play in enhancing joint educational endeavors for the enhancement of a well-equipped youth and the government strategic plans. The joint educational and capacity-building endeavors of the Consortium aim to enhance the way academia interacts with the public and private sectors to inspire the youth in the UAE and beyond and move towards a competitive knowledge-based economy and sustainable nation-building in line with the vision of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the UAE leadership.
Al Habtoor said it is important to put emphasis on the enhancement of human capital, adding that he would like to see more focus on practical training and life skills to complement academic qualifications, and that the focus ought to be on the enhancement of the theoretical knowledge gained on the benches of schools and universities with the practical knowledge of the University of Life. “It is important that young professionals have varied skillsets. We cannot just have a pool of doctors, engineers or scientists. We need a population that is not so reliant on expatriate skills. We need to encourage innovation and polish leadership skills in the public sector.” He added, “When I am hiring people to join the Al Habtoor Group, I do not just look at their educational qualifications. I look at the person as a whole. I look at qualifications, life skills, discipline, work ethic, and charisma.”
The BUNYAN Initiative for the Capacity-Building of the UAE youth which was recently launched by H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, within the University Leadership Council aims at developing, encouraging, and favoring such well-rounded talented young professionals who in turn actively contribute to enhanced knowledge development and knowledge sharing in all its forms thus actively contributing to sustainable nation-building,
Professor Dr. Nada Mourtada said the ULC was thankful to Chairman Al Habtoor for his valuable insights and his continued unwavering support of the UAE youth, and conveyed the earnest hopes of the ULC that Chairman Al Habtoor will continue to take an active role in the Consortium and in the joint educational and capacity-building endeavors of the ULC aiming at the enhancement of human capital and knowledge development in the UAE.