Youth Ambassadors Program Ambassadors for three weeks

Participants visiting the Aquasphere at the Biosphere Potsdam
Participants visiting the Aquasphere at the Biosphere Potsdam | © Sandra Schuck

The future of the United Arab Emirates introduce themselves on a journey through Germany. As part of the United Arab Emirates Youth Ambassadors Program, 18 Emirati students gained their first insights into Germany’s economic life and culture. Some of them are back in Germany now - and participate in an internship in industrial and commercial enterprises for six weeks.

It began with South Korea, continued to China and finally went on to Germany. These three very different countries were the focus of interest of the United Arab Emirates Youth Ambassadors Program. If the name sounds like some sort of youth camp, that is an underestimation. Its mission is the advancement of the future managerial elite of the United Arab Emirates.

Visiting the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg Visiting the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg | © Sandra Schuck The United Arab Emirates Youth Ambassadors Program was launched in 2012 with the objective of fortifying the relations between the United Arab Emirates and its partners while also promoting understanding between the two cultures. Germany became part of the programme in 2014, organised by the Goethe-Institut in Abu Dhabi and the Visitors’ Programme of the Goethe-Institut in Berlin. After learning German in five-month crash courses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, 18 students – female and male – were given the opportunity last summer to travel to Germany for three weeks to meet leading figures from industry, academia and politics.

Focus on cars

Recognisable from afar in their yellow polo shirts, the eighteen took off on an eventful journey across the republic. Munich, Dresden, Berlin and Hamburg were the most important stops along the way. They began by visiting the Allianz Arena and the BMW headquarters as well as an online fashion shop in Munich. At Siemens, they were able to take a seat in a prototype of the “car of the future.”

At the Potsdamer Platz At the Potsdamer Platz | © Sandra Schuck Speaking of Germany and its cars, the country’s major export was given close scrutiny by the Middle Eastern visitors. The young Emirati headed to Dresden, stopping to visit Audi in Ingolstadt, and in the Saxon capital they visited the glass factories of VW. Other industries also interested them, of course, and their schedule included Airbus, SAP, the oil and gas producer Wintershall, Deutsche Bahn and the BDI. They encountered German politicians at the Federal Chancellery, a number of federal ministries, the state chancellery of Saxony and Berlin’s Rote Rathaus. The Emirati also met German researchers at the TU Dresden, the Hasso Plattner Institute and at the DESY accelerator centre.

Insights into the culture of the Emirates

The students from the Emirates were not the only ones to profit from their visit to Germany as they lived up to their titles as youth ambassadors. Encounters with the young women and men offered their hosts insights into the culture of the Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing economic regions.

The participants who are currently doing an internship in Germany The participants who are currently doing an internship in Germany | © Sandra Schuck