2018 is the Year of Zayed in UAE – Get Involved!

2018 – Year of Zayed. How do you plan to be involved?


As 2018 gets off to a start in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it is worth aligning some of your community programs with the Year of Zayed. In the process, you can do good for your community and your business.


Year of Zayed


In this post, I’ll give you some suggestions about how you can be engaged in the Year of Zayed initiative using our Real World Education approach. But first, let’s shed some light on the initiative itself.


The year 2018 marks 100 years since the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who passed away in 2004.


I recall in my early days in the training business, I put together a list of leaders that I can use as role models for my leadership course. It was hard for me to find a local or international leader that everyone appreciated and considered as a role model.


As I traveled across the Arab region facilitating hundreds of workshops, there was only one person that was recognized as a great leadership role model. That person was the late Sheikh Zayed. It was a universal consensus across the different countries, that this man was seen as a truly visionary leader.


Every other role model, I’d use, would result in a debate. There would always be a student or more that would bring up a differing political, economic or cultural view that that leader would have made.


Sheikh Zayed was a man who was loved beyond the UAE borders.


Therefore, it is only fitting that the UAE recognizes it’s founding father. His generosity and leadership reverberated well beyond his country’s borders. For that reason, 2018 will be known in the UAE as the Year of Zayed. Its aim is to celebrate his life, vision, openness, love for nature and his people.

The objectives of the Year of Zayed include educating and creating greater awareness of the life and achievements of the late Sheikh Zayed.


So how can you be involved in such a community initiative and include it in your CSR strategy?

Let’s start by reflecting on the key values that the Year of Zayed will focus on. They include:

  • Wisdom
  • Respect
  • Sustainability
  • Human Development


Next, you can align your community or CSR activities, to one or more of these key values. Choosing something that is close to your industry or business is recommended. Doing so gives your engagement more focus and ensures its sustainability. In that process, you can do well for your business and your community at the same time. Here’s a video to explain that further:


Next, I’ll share with you some of our own experience in various CSR or community programs which could give you some additional ideas.

In Potential.com we have launched many programs ourselves and others on behalf of our customers around the world.

By using Real World Education, we are able to empower millions in an efficient and practical way.


Most of these programs I’ll highlight address the last two areas – namely Sustainability and Human Development. Below you can find a few samples of relevant community programs and you can get access to others on our empower page.


On the topic of Sustainability, it would be best to align any initiative you have to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals were developed by the United Nations with all nations around the world committing to work together on them. You can choose one or more of these goals to work on depending on your industry or area of focus.

  • As an example, we launched an awareness program with the UN Foundation on the SDGs which was rolled out to students across the world.
  • On the other hand, locally on behalf of MBC AlAmal, we launched a social enterprise challenge – called Shabab2030. The program aims to target youth across the Arab region so they set up social businesses.


On the Human Development Side, in Potential, we have launched programs to target:

  • Women Empowerment (Hadafi) – to support in creating more women-led businesses
  • Startup and SME Business growth (SME Evolution Program (SMEEP)) – to help expand economies
  • Youth Development (YDP) – to help youth get better job prospects.


Finally, comprehensive innovative community programs could be launched to bring together more than one value in the Year of Zayed. As further examples, we have launched:

  • For Airbus a program in Saudi Arabia that helps to develop the Saudi Aviation sector (EntaliqKSA)
  • A women-led business recognition program for Cartier (CWIA)
  • For UAE Ministry of Economy, Department of Economic Development Abu Dhabi, and Department of Health in Abu Dhabi an innovation platform (TIP – Healthcare)

Let’s all work together in 2018 – the year of Zayed, to commemorate the life, values, and achievements of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as an inspirational world leader.


In the process, we will be encouraging future generations to honor his legacy and fulfill his vision of prosperity, tolerance, and peace. Something that we need more of all over the world.


If you need more information about – 2018 – the Year of Giving, the Year of Zayed you can check out the official website. If you would like one of our community program managers to tell you more about any of the above programs and share with you our lessons learned, feel free to send an email to empower@potential.com.

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