A UAE businessman Abdullah Ahmad Al Ghurair has pledged one third of his assets to launch Abdullah Al Ghurair Education Foundation, which will invest in innovative high impact programmes that will improve the quality of education at the primary and secondary levels.
It will also help a minimum of 15,000 promising Arab youth from underprivileged backgrounds to pursue quality higher education for a value of Dh 4.2 billion over ten years.
A legally registered entity, the Foundation owns one third of the assets of the Abdullah Ahmad Al Ghurair group of companies, including all revenues and profits. The Foundation's board of trustees is chaired by AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, son of Abdullah Ahmad Al Ghurair.
The launch of the Foundation was announced by AbdulAziz Al Ghurair at a press conference which coincided with UAE Humanitarian Work Day, held to honour the legacy of the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The Foundation will award grants based on a highly competitive process. It will work in partnership with the best education institutions in the region and the world. It will also promote academic subjects that address the needs of the local and global economy and the priorities of nation building. Grants for higher education will be made through a clear and transparent process and awarded based on merit to Emirati and Arab youth in need of financial assistance.
AbdulAziz Al Ghurair quoted his father's words who said, "Education is the cornerstone of prosperous, progressive and inclusive societies, and essential for the sustainable development of our nation and the empowerment of our future leaders."
"For many years, the UAE has been known for helping less fortunate countries and individuals. The launch of the Foundation, therefore, is an extension of what our Leadership is already committed to doing. Improving the quality of education and equipping our youth with the skills to succeed in the 21st century is key to reducing unemployment – among the Arab world's most pressing challenges – and to building peace and prosperity in our region."
"And it is through education that we will effectively tackle inequality, enabling youth from low-income families to fulfil their individual potential and to help their communities thrive," he added.
Abdullah Al Ghurair Education Foundation will target UAE nationals and Arab citizens living in the UAE before expanding to include Arab youth across the Arab World.
As one of the largest privately funded philanthropic initiatives devoted to education in the Arab World, the Foundation hopes to inspire a stronger culture of private philanthropy in the field of education. The Foundation will also work with the regional and international education community to raise awareness of the need to increase private philanthropic investment in education.
According to Abdullah Ahmad Al Ghurair, "The leadership of the UAE has always prioritized the welfare of its people and has been a champion for the wider Arab community."
"In recognition of their vision and as a continuation of their legacy, my family and I have accepted a greater responsibility to open the doors of opportunity to the next generation."
"The Foundation will forge a path for greater collaboration between philanthropic organisations, the private sector and education institutions. The bold ambitions of the UAE and our neighbouring Arab countries can only be realised if our region's future leaders are given the necessary tools," said Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair.