from our


H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair
Chairman, Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation

In 2023, we experienced a time marked by substantial difficulties, including geopolitical tensions, pressing environmental concerns, climate change, and deeply entrenched socioeconomic disparities. These challenges were particularly acute in the Arab region, which is home to over 200 million youth under 30, representing 60% of the population.

from our


Sonia Ben Jaafar
Chief Executive Officer, Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation
Chairperson, the Global Council on Sustainable Development Goals

2023 was the Year of Sustainability, characterized by the strong theme of cultivating today for a stronger tomorrow. At the Foundation, we are committed to facilitating the path to high-quality education, empowering youth to shape their futures and drive the transformation towards a greener future.


Executive Summary

The Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation was established in 2015 to leverage education in helping Emirati and Arab youth thrive and contribute to the sustainable growth of the Arab region. The Foundation has positively impacted over 110,000 Emirati and Arab youth to date.

The Foundation’s initiatives fall under two pillars:

1. Education 360,

With a focus on facilitating access to high-quality education through innovative technologies and teaching methods.

2. Talent Development

With a focus on bridging the education-to-employment gap by providing youth with essential, market-driven skills and experiences.


2023 Impact


Youth for
Elevated Livelihoods

The Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation (AGF) was established in 2015 as the largest privately funded philanthropy in the Arab region focused on education. AGF leverages a partnershipbased and impact-driven strategic philanthropy approach to empower Emirati and Arab youth. AGF supports youth’s successful transition into higher education and the labor market through high-quality and evidence-based education and skill-building solutions.


Strategic Goals for 2025

Elevated Livelihoods

200,000 Emirati and Arab youth
with innovative, high-quality education and skill-building opportunities that lead to elevated livelihoods

Greater Impact

Leverage knowledge and technology
to help ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning in the Arab region

Our Approach to


Preparing Emirati and Arab youth to contribute to the region’s sustainable growth is a shared responsibility among relevant stakeholders. Key players like the private sector, the government, education providers, and youth play important roles in achieving this. The Foundation works with its strategic partners to create market-driven programs that improve youth’s skills and employability.

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Education 360

This pillar utilizes innovative models to improve learning outcomes and expand access to high-quality education. Education 360 seeks to support the education ecosystem in the UAE and the Arab region using the latest education technologies and teaching methods.

Talent Development

This pillar aims to equip youth with market-driven skills, relevant knowledge, and practical learning. With a focus on technical and transferable skills, it leverages industry-recognized professional certifications as well as training and mentoring opportunities that lead to successful career outcomes.

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Our Programs
Education 360



Launched in: 2023
In partnership with: Emirates School Establishment (ESE)

Takween is the UAE’s first comprehensive after-school enrichment program for Emirati students between the ages of 13 and 18 . Takween aims to raise the awareness and advance the skill levels of students while integrating national identity and global citizenship across learning experiences.

Academic Strengthening

Prepare learners to successfully complete their secondary and post-secondary education.

Skill Development

Equip learners with key transferable skills like communication, critical thinking, and teamwork.

Success Advising

Increase learners’ awareness about careers in the UAE, focusing on the private sector, in line with Emiratization efforts.


The University Consortium for Quality Online Learning (UCQOL)

Launched in: 2020
In partnership with: UAE Ministry of Education and 9 universities

UCQOL aims to provide inclusive and innovative educational opportunities for Emirati and Arab youth. As the first consortium of its kind in the Arab region, UCQOL utilizes a multiphased approach to build the capacity of higher education institutions, enabling them to produce market-driven, student-centric, and accredited online programs.


Abdulla Al Ghurair Hub
for Digital Teaching and Learning

Launched in: 2021
In partnership with: Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA) at the American University of Beirut

The Al Ghurair Hub uses innovative learning technologies and approaches to advance online STEM education in the region. 

Launch 15 online master’s programs, diplomas, and certificates in its first 3 years.

Digitize existing residential courses to improve teaching and learning outcomes.


Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Program

Launched in: 2022
In partnership with:

  • University of Waterloo

  • Khalifa University

  • University of Sharjah

  • United Arab Emirates University

The Foundation launched the WIL program to support the localization of experiential learning models at UAE universities. 

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Our Programs
Talent Development




Nomu is a national youth development initiative that adopts a multi-sector, multi-stakeholder approach. It aims to upskill 25,000 Emirati youth by 2025 through high-quality training pathways. Focused on the skills required for a digital, knowledge-based economy, Nomu seeks to contribute to a globally competitive local and regional talent pool.



TechUp aims to train 20,000 Emirati youth in diverse levels of digital fluency and skills to become the UAE’s future leaders and entrepreneurs.

TechUp has two phases:

Foundational phase

Self-paced, 6-week-long learning journey with subject matter experts
Focused on foundational digital literacy skills

Nanodegree program phase

A 3-month, self-guided program
Advanced content co-developed by some of the world’s leading companies like Google and Amazon



Siraj is a 6-week communication skills training program that aims to prepare Emirati youth for the job market. By focusing on future-facing transferable skills like critical thinking, strategy building, and storytelling, Siraj empowers participants to better tell their own stories and succeed in the evolving world of work.

Sessions delivered by senior industry executives and CNN journalists to improve youth’s storytelling skills.

Hands-on projects to enhance crucial transferable skills.

Strategic partnerships with multi-sector stakeholders to facilitate employment and experiential learning opportunities.


Nomu Women

Nomu Women aims to upskill 500 young Emirati women with industry-recognized management and leadership skills to prepare them for corporate careers and entrepreneurship. In line with its objective to increase women’s representation in managerial and leadership roles in the UAE, the program includes sessions led by internationally experienced female trainers and executives. It also incorporates practical learning, engaging learners with private sector companies for internships and professional networking.

Nomu Women works with strategic partners such as the private sector, enabling them to support the program on three fronts:


In “Women in Management & Leadership”


To support career counseling and networking

Workplace opportunities

By committed private sector partners


Nomu Cyber

Nomu Cyber aims to enhance the skills of Emirati youth in the highly demanded cybersecurity field. Taking the form of a 14-week bootcamp, the program is designed to establish learners in the industry by providing them with a comprehensive understanding of the main pillars of cybersecurity.


Leap Talent Incubator

Leap Talent Incubator seeks to create entry pathways for Emirati youth, preparing them for the workforce. The 6-week skill development program works with strategic partners to form a community that connects talent, industry, and policymakers.


Nomu Regional Expansion

Following its success in the UAE, the Foundation has expanded Nomu to the Arab region, starting in Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia in 2023, with plans to pursue other Arab countries in subsequent years.
The expansion followed the Nomu UAE model, applying the 3Cs approach to ensure programs are contextualized, comprehensive, and centered around the needs of youth.

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Al Ghurair Scholarship Programs

The Al Ghurair scholarship programs provide high-achieving, underserved Arab youth with financial assistance and academic and non-academic support.

The Foundation has two scholarship programs that focus on providing youth with access to high-quality higher education. While the programs took in their last cohorts in 2021, there are 144 continuing scholars who will graduate by 2024.

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Green Education
and Sustainability
at AGF

Green Education and Sustainability at AGF

The Foundation is committed to facilitating access to high-quality education, including green education, to empower youth to engage in climate action and drive sustainable development.

To this end, the Foundation works with its partners towards a collective goal of addressing sustainability challenges through education and skill building.


Ecopreneurship Bootcamp

The Ecopreneurship Program is designed to empower the UAE’s youth to drive sustainable development and promote eco-conscious values. The program enables young entrepreneurs to transform their viable ideas into actionable business ventures in the sectors of climate change, environmental conservation, and sustainable development.

Stage 1 - Weekend Bootcamp 150 Participants

10-day startup ideation bootcamp, providing youth with the necessary tools, mentorship, and insights.

Stage 2 - Pre-accelerator 5 Teams

Over 5 weeks, teams built the startup foundation and prepared for their final pitch.

Stage 3 - Pitch at COP28 5 Teams

A final pitch competition, showcasing five winning solutions.

Stage 4 - Accelerator 3 Teams

A 16-week customized accelerator program to successfully launch startups.


Sustainability and Climate Action Workshops

Through a series of sustainability and climate action workshops, this program aims to raise awareness about climate change, engage communities in climate action, and inspire sustainable habits. By clarifying the connections between individual actions and the global climate crisis, the series enhances participants’ understanding of how they can contribute to the collective goal of transforming the planet for a greener future.

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The Abdulla Al Ghurair
at COP28

The Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation at COP28

In 2023, as a continuation of its commitment to sustainable and green education, the Foundation participated in the United Nations annual climate change conference – COP28.

  • Strategic partnerships are crucial in establishing and advancing climate initiatives.

  • It is key to integrate sustainability across all sectors and levels.

  • Evidence-based climate action can empower youth-led efforts in addressing present and

    future challenges.

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The Foundation values sharing knowledge and exchanging experiences for a deeper enrichment of the education and development ecosystem. Thought leadership events, where key experts and leaders meet to discuss pressing topics in education, sustainability, job readiness, and inclusivity, aim to extend successful engagements across sectors and geographies.



The Foundation strives to promote knowledge sharing in the Arab region by fostering a culture of research and learning. In line with its commitment to supporting a community of evidence-informed decision-makers, the Foundation shares its successful approaches, lessons learned, and expertise through numerous knowledge products.

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The Foundation collaborates with different stakeholders in the education ecosystem to:

  • Empower youth and create awareness.

  • Include diverse perspectives at every stage of programmatic development and


  • Positively impact learners’ achievements and outcomes.