ABU DHABI - The National Experts Programme is contributing to the development of 15 UAE-based specialists over a rigorous eight-month programme that combines academics, immersive work experience, and one-on-one mentoring by sector leaders to foster knowledge exchange and innovative thinking.

Developed under the direction of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the National Experts programme (NEP) is a launchpad for Emirati specialists who strive to play a leading role in the transformation of future-growth sectors. Now in its third edition, NEP focuses on three strategic clusters: Economic Growth, Social Development, and Sustainability and Infrastructure.

With the UAE hosting the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) this year, this edition places added emphasis on sustainability. The learning and development programme supports the UAE’s strategic vision and fosters the development of sector leaders by cultivating specialised expertise and leadership skills in outstanding UAE-based professionals and equipping them to make a transformative impact on key social and economic sectors.

Through work sharing, shadowing, networking and other experiential activities, a selection of high-level, industry-leading mentors accelerate the personal and professional development of NEP participants, further cementing the value of lifelong learning, innovation and education as key pillars in the nation’s ongoing progress.

“The National Experts programme, created to contribute to the UAE’s long-term strategic economic development, will be an essential platform to recognise promising young leaders and nurture the next generation of Emirati talent. The third edition’s participants were selected from nearly 900 applicants through a competitive selection process,” Ahmed Talib Al Shamsi, Director of the programme said.

The NEP fosters the development of sector leaders who will help shape the country’s future. The programme cultivates a pool of Emirati professionals recognised as outstanding performers in their field and equips them to have a transformative impact on key social and economic sectors carefully aligned with the country’s national priorities. Participants will enhance their expertise, professional skills, and leadership ability by mastering five key mindsets for lifelong learning.

The list of mentors and participants in three strategic clusters and their sub-sectors are as follows:


Economic Development:

  • Mentor: Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy
  • Participant: Mohamed Tarmoom, Senior Associate, UAE Investments at Mubadala Investment Company

Media and Creative Economy:

  • Mentor: Mona Al Marri, Director-General of the Government of Dubai Media Office
  • Participant: Waheeda Alhadhrami, Director of National Cultural and Creative Industries Promotion Department at the Ministry of Culture and Youth


  • Mentor: Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director-General at Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre
  • Participant: Abdulla Alshehhi, Head of Strategic Research at the UAE Space Agency

Technology and Innovation:

  • Mentor: Peng Xiao, Group CEO at G42
  • Participant: Dr. Abdulla Al Shimmari, CEO, HCMS.ai

Advanced Sciences and Research:

  • Mentor: Professor Eric Xing, President at Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI)
  • Participant: Dr. Ameena Al-Sumaiti, Associate Professor at Khalifa University

Tourism and Hospitality:

  • Mentor: Haitham Mattar, Managing Director of India, Middle East and Africa at IHG Hotels and Resorts
  • Participant: Aisha Al Matrooshi, Tourism Sector Industry Development Section Head, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi



  • Mentor: Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education
  • Participant: Hareth Alhashmi, Director of Strategy Success at the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority


  • Mentor: Omar Saif Ghobash, Ambassador to the Holy See and Assistant Minister for Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
  • Participant: Eman Al Mughairy, Head of Communication at Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy

Community Development and Social Services:

  • Mentor: Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of State
  • Participant: Talal Faris, Division Manager, Family and Community Division at Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development

Policy and Government Services:

  • Mentor: Maryam Al Hammadi, Minister of State and Secretary General at the UAE Cabinet
  • Participant: Salama Alfalasi, Senior Programmer and Chairwoman of Dubai Police Young Leaders Council at Dubai Police Headquarters

Health and Well-Being:

  • Mentor: Dr. Jorge A. Guzman, Chief Executive Officer of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi
  • Participant: Fatima Al-Ali, Project Manager at Mubadala Health


Energy and Renewables:

  • Mentor: Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology
  • Participant: Saood Alnoori, Head of Diplomatic Engagement at the Office of the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change

Food and Water Security:

  • Mentor: Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment
  • Participant: Hamad Alshehhi, Investment Manager at ADQ

Mobility and Logistics:

  • Mentor: Falah Mohamed Al Ahbabi
  • Participant: Abdulla Alhaidan, Project Manager, Project Management and Group Planning at DP World

Environment and Climate Change:

  • Mentor: Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi
  • Participant: Maitha Al Hameli, Section Manager - Marine Assessment & Conservation at the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi