The vision for the UAE’s young remains a corner stone of society and is supported by a multitude of government and private organisations. This holds more importance when related to current financial markets, especially in finance and banking, where there are no physical products, but simply people, their knowledge and expertise, says Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

Through Long Live Ambition, ADCB has continued the vision, that the UAE has for nurturing its young people, establishing a strategy to aid in the development of UAE nationals. The Chairman, HE Eissa Al Suwaidi, the CEO, Mr. Ala’a Eraiqat, and the Head of the Human Resources group, Mr. Ali Darwish, all of whom are UAE Nationals, have set a strategy that covers two key aspects of successful Emiratisation, solid recruitment and pro-active people development.

On the recruitment front, ADCB has tapped into national talent from all avenues with a strong focus on upcoming young and highly educated generation. Statistics confirm that the majority of the national population is in the student bracket and in an active area where recruitment programmes are held with many key local educational colleges and institutions.

ADCB also offers part-time training and job opportunities for nationals who are studying or have family commitments which doesn’t make it convenient for them to work full business hours, such as setting up an auxiliary contact centre in Al Ain entirely staffed by UAE national women working part time.

Understanding that recruitment is only half the challenge, the next key aspect is pro-active people development, learning and performance management. ADCB has a tiered model for development that designs individually catered programmes for each job role, starting at trainee level and continuing up to senior executives, with each tier receiving development interventions that match their requirements and experience levels.

Some key initiatives include Mahara, an on-the-job training programme which prepares fresh graduates from college or high school for entry level jobs in the workplace, by combining traditional classroom learning, experiential activities, and practical projects and on-the-job monitoring and coaching. This is underpinned by theory concepts such as English communication and banking fundamentals.

A prime initiative of ADCB is its Aspiring Manager Programme, a ten month long course that prepares officer level nationals for their first foray into the world of management. The course involves both internal and external training as well as business projects and assignments.

In support of the UAE’s vision, ADCB established its own internal UAE National Development Forums, one day events that bring together UAE national staff with members of the senior management and external guests from prominent government bodies to share knowledge, ideas and receive updates on business strategy and personal development.

We are all aware that Emiratisation does not come without its challenges, but ADCB has proven its commitment to the UAE National recruitment, retention and development.

Key achievements of UAE National Development


The purpose of the Emirati Academy is to drive the ADCB ambition of increasing the number of employed Emiratis and to contribute to the retention of talented UAE nationals within the Bank.

Our UAE National Development programmes currently address the development needs of UAE national talent at the following organisational levels:

Senior management

  • Three managers are currently participating in the LEAD program, organised by Al Dar in cooperation with Cambridge University.

Middle management and high-potentials

  • We continue to provide the five day Ashridge Leadership Process programme in collaboration with Ashridge Business School, conducted yearly in Abu Dhabi for a total of ten high potential UAE Nationals.
  • We are sponsoring four EIBFS Diplomas for UAE nationals, with a minimum one year of ADCB experience.
  • Ashridge Pathways to Management Certification is a programme available for experienced UAE national middle managers, supporting them to become tomorrow’s executives. This two year Master’s degree programme is designed to equip managers with the tools they need to lead at a higher level. We currently have three UAE National managers on the programme.
  • Aspiring Managers Programme, was specifically designed for the accelerated development of 16 high potential UAE nationals.


  • The Work Experience Programme is open to UAE Nationals registered in high school or university; in 2010 we have accommodated 40 students.
  • Additionally, we run in partnership with EIBFS a one year development programme for 300 part-time Trainees in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Fujairah.