Meet some of the Emiratis hoping to become UAE Youth Minister

Dubai Ruler says the ideal candidate is a distinguished young man or woman

Mariam Al Kass, 33, has registered her interest in becoming the UAE's Youth Minister. Photo: Mariam Al Kass.
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When Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced he was looking for someone to become the country's Youth Minister, he received just under 5,000 applications in a day.

He said the ideal candidate would be a "distinguished young man or woman" in a call to the public on X, formerly Twitter.

He highlighted the qualities he was looking for in the government's latest cabinet member, including being “well-versed in their country's issues, aware of their society's reality, active in their work, with a rational approach, courageous and strong in representing their country, and passionate about serving their homeland”.

Sheikh Mohammed made that post on Sunday, and the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers announced that it had already received 4,700 applications for the position by 6pm that day.

The National spoke to some hopeful applicants who believe they have what it takes to be the voice of the nation's youth.

Promoting national identity

“I believe I am suitable for the job,” 33-year-old Mariam Al Kass said.

“I aim to build a healthy, cohesive, and sustainable society that takes pride in its national identity, while enhancing the leadership and innovative capabilities of the youth.

“My mission is to promote national identity and develop the leadership and innovation abilities of young individuals.

"The criteria mentioned resonated with my personality as soon as I read the news. And I said to myself ‘I’m up for it’.

"It’s worth mentioning that I am an ambassador for national identity.”

Ms Al Kass, from Ras Al Khaimah, is currently the chief executive of a health and safety training centre and is also running in the Federal National Council elections, which take place next month.

Right kind of experience is key

Mohamed Al Ali, 33, from Abu Dhabi doesn’t have a university degree but he believes that educational certificates should not be a prerequisite to becoming the next youth minister.

He applied for the post because he has “life experience”.

“I was independent from a young age. I have been taking care of my mother and three sisters since I was 13," he said.

"I started working in the government since I was 19 and haven’t stopped since then.”

Mr Al Ali joined an Ajman football club at the age of 13, where he received a monthly allowance.

“I used that money to take care of my family and later would work odd jobs to support my family,” said Mr Al Ali, who is a government employee.

He believes the hardships he has experienced will equip him to make a positive impact.

“I've lived through everything and know everything youths are going through today – things that a university degree won’t teach you,“ he said.

He is now continuing his education.

Sensible and educated

University student, Saud Al Shaibani, 19, from Sharjah said it was important for the next minister to be sensible and educated.

“They must be a sensible and educated person who grew up in a humble family that instilled in their souls the love of doing good for others, dedication to work, and honesty," he said.

"He must be qualified to carry this great responsibility on his shoulders so that he can best represent the Emirati youth, and his message will be from the youth and to the youth, so that our youth can reach complete and lasting advancement.

"To connect this person with the ambition of the youth of the Emirates so that their inspiration reaches all segments of society. I ask God to grant success to everyone and always remember that you are responsible."

Hamad Al Mazrouei, 33, is not running for the position, but feels invested in the selection process.

The poet and government employee from Ras Al Khaimah shared his thoughts and explained that Emiratis were confident in whoever the government select.

“We have full confidence in your choices, sir," he said, referring to Sheikh Mohammed.

"What is clear to us that there is a leader, a knight, a poet and a falconer, who has sufficient experience in the challenges of the present and the future, especially in choosing the right person to serve this country."

Shamma Al Mazrui was previously the UAE's Minister of State for Youth Affairs. She took the position in 2016 at the age of 22, and is now Minister of Community Development. She was also crowned Cop28 Youth Climate Champion this year.

Ms Al Mazrui, in her LinkedIn profile, described the ministerial role as empowering young people to take the lead in shaping the country's future across government and society

Young people who are “competent, capable, and trustworthy” and interested in answering the call have been asked to send an email to the Council of Ministers at

Updated: September 28, 2023, 12:16 PM