Dubai Future Foundation convened the inaugural meeting of the Dubai Future Fellowship programme, launched under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council and Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation.

The programme aims to attract industry specialists, entrepreneurs and innovators to develop forward-thinking solutions that proactively tackle future challenges and seize opportunities across various sectors.

During the meeting, the programme’s core objectives and prospective strategies were discussed, alongside the pivotal roles and responsibilities assigned to the programme members. The session featured a comprehensive discussion of upcoming events and meetings to be held in the near future.

Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation, emphasised that the fellowship reflects on the UAE’s leadership vision in engaging national and international experts in Dubai's journey to design and build the future. Belhoul highlighted the significance of benefiting from their extensive experiences in developing innovative ideas and projects, which would enhance Dubai's position as a global leader in future readiness and a hub for future experts and shapers.

Behloul added, "The diverse range of expertise brought together by the Dubai Future Fellowship will undoubtedly make significant contributions to Dubai's continuous efforts towards achieving new milestones. By leveraging their achievements, we can accelerate our progress towards a more prosperous future. The private sector's expertise serves as an inspiration for government entities seeking to enhance their performance and exceed expectations."

For her part, Fatma Bujsaim, General Coordinator of the Dubai Future Fellowship programme, said, “The programme will arrange a series of regular meetings and workshops in the upcoming months, focusing on participants' suggestions and recommendations to foster innovative ideas. By addressing current and future challenges across specific sectors, the sessions will identify opportunities and facilitate discussions around initiatives and projects. This approach aims to demonstrate Dubai's leadership in proactively preparing for the future.”

Members of the Dubai Future Fellowship underscored that this initiative provides a distinctive opportunity to exchange ideas, anticipate future trends, propose new practices, analyse upcoming transformations, and identify significant challenges to develop optimal solutions.

Amna Al Owais, Chief Registrar at DIFC Courts said, “I am honoured to have been selected by our leadership to be amongst the first batch of the Dubai Future Fellows. Our objective as fellows is to act as advisors to the Dubai Future Foundation to help develop new concepts that will boost Dubai’s readiness to integrate changes in the economy, technology, education, and all aspects of our daily lives. Today’s fellowship gathering marks the beginning of an exciting time to highlight our efforts on what are the key priorities in terms of providing future ready policies to enhance Dubai’s position as the city of opportunities and one that is equipped to deal with future challenges today.”

Saeed Mansoor Al Awar, Head of Middle East for Rothschild & Co commented, “The Dubai Future Fellowship initiative is a unique and global initiative, which goes directly to supporting the development of the economic and social policies to cope with the fast-changing technological advances impacting economic, financial and legal related matters. The best example of this is the advancements being made in Artificial Intelligence and the significant impact it will have on all facets of our economy and society.”

Muhammed Mekki, Founding Partner at AstroLabs, commented, "This programme embodies what makes the innovation ecosystem in Dubai truly unique; the government closely collaborating with the private sector to better prepare for the future, jointly positioning Dubai as a world-leading destination for talent and business opportunities."

Commenting on the occasion, Madiha Sattar, VP of Transformation at Careem said, "The Dubai Future Fellowship will unlock innovative ideas to advance Dubai's development by connecting leaders from key sectors across the world. I am excited to learn from other technology specialists and to contribute my experience in building impactful technology from the region for the region. Careem has been unleashing potential through technology for over a decade, and today we have a lot of learnings to share as the region’s leading ‘everything app.’”

Nadine Mezher, CMO and Co-Founder of Sarwa highlighted that "Dubai has always been the city of tomorrow, striving to get better and better in a strategically planned effort.”

She added, “The Future Fellowship programme exemplifies this and shows the incredible potential of collective collaboration. The goal is to support Dubai’s ongoing pursuit of innovation by bridging the gap between the public and private sectors for their mutual gains. We are excited to do our small part in this next big chapter."

Mona Ataya, CEO and Founder of Mumzworld, said, “‘Being a proud member of the Dubai Future Fellowship provides a unique opportunity to collaborate with proven leaders and subject matter experts to participate in developing pioneering programmes and projects that enhance Dubai’s position as the innovator of a prosperous and sustainable ecosystem for future generations.”

Launched in April, the Dubai Future Fellowship aims to unite a global network of renowned experts recognised for their achievements in various fields, including government, economic, technological, and future-focused sectors. The network will be crucial in developing and implementing future-specific strategies for Dubai and the UAE. The programme spans across various specialised fields, including health, education, technology, entrepreneurship, retail, environment, banking, commerce, real estate, media and entertainment, law, arts, tourism, hospitality, sports, and space, among others.

The programme's participants include: Amna Al Owais, Nilesh Ved, Keenan Hamza, Muhammed Mekki, Madiha Sattar, Benedetta Ghione, Nadine Mezher, Saeed-AlAwar, Mona Ataya, Mariam Farag, Amir Farha, Ambareen Musa, Mark Beer, Tarek Amin, Katya Kovtunovich, Eyad Al-Kourdi, Caroline Louca, Karl Tlais, Claudius Boller, Raveen Guliani, Savitar Jagtiani, Dr. Linda Zou, Noor Sweid, Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, and Kalthoom Ali.