The UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth has just concluded a visit to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where he met with youth leaders and government officials to discuss the state of youth empowerment in the MENA region.

On November 6, Alhendawi took part in the third annual “MBC Hope” Awards Ceremony, hosted by the MBC Group. The ceremony included award distributions to individuals and institutions that have practiced social and humanitarian activities and are of great influence in the region.

Alhendawi discussed the importance of humanitarian work and the role of young people in the process. During his participation, the Envoy also praised the launch of MBC’s #Shabab2030, a new initiative aimed at empowering young people in the region in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.  

On November 7, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth met with Shamma Bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Alhendawi and Minister Al Mazrui spoke of the need to empower the youth of the UAE and the region with more investments and opportunities. Minister Al Mazrui, who is the youngest serving youth minister in the world, expressed her wish to strengthen the cooperation between the UN and the UAE government on youth issues and youth development.

On the last day of his visit, Alhendawi spoke at the 2016 Youth Philanthropy Summit in Abu Dhabi organized by the Emirates Foundation on the theme Philanthropy in Transition. Alhendawi spoke during the plenary on “Arab Youth and the Demographic Dividend They Will Bring,” underscoring the need to provide more investments for young people in the region. The Arab world, Alhendawi said, is rich in resources and what it needs is firm commitment to its youth.

Alhendawi also met with a group of young innovators from the Abdulaziz Bin Humaid Leadership Program. The Program seeks to empower talented young people of all GCC nationalities with the knowledge and skills to take responsibility, drive leadership and lead teams at every level across the region’s public and private sectors.