A search for potential Arab leaders, taking in 14 countries and thousands of candidates, has concluded. Representatives of the Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum Foundation travelled across the Arab world to offer students the chance to study at some of the world's great universities. The foundation was established last year through a Dh27 billion (US$7.4bn) commitment by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Since being set up, the programme has funded the university studies of 51 Arab students, almost 20 per cent of whom were Emirati. This year, 100 places were available through the Pioneers and Fellows programmes. Winners will be announced later. The Pioneers scheme allows students to stay and study in the Arab world, while the Fellows programme sends them to western universities such as Yale, Harvard, Cambridge and Stanford.
Grants are given to students to study in four fields: business management, public administration, science policy and finance and banking. Mustafa al Ansari, the vice president of operations at the foundation, said it was crucial to focus on business administration candidates, who were "an essential foundation for the success of any project or initiative". The delegation travelled to Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman, as well as to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.