Sunday, May 20, 2007

$10 billion donation for education and research: Can Dubai become a leading research center?


The ruler of Dubai, Shiekh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, is donating 10 billion dollars to set up an educational foundation. This is thought to be one of the largest charitable donations in history - and amazingly its for research and education!
Sheikh Mohammed, known as a successful racehorse owner as well as ruler of Dubai, said his personal initiative was aimed at creating what he called "a knowledge-based society" in the Middle East.

At the moment, he explained, there was high illiteracy in the region - where more than 40% of Arab women cannot read or write.
The whole Arab world publishes fewer books than the country of Turkey. And spending on scientific research is only a tiny fraction of that in developed countries.

"There is a wide knowledge gap between us and the developed world in the West and in Asia. Our only choice is to bridge this gap as quickly as possible, because our age is defined by knowledge," the sheikh said.

...

Sheikh Mohammed hopes to increase education and research, and also to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the region.

"In order to realise these objectives, I have decided to establish the Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum Foundation to focus on human development, and have I decided to endow a fund of $10bn to finance its projects," he said.

This is quite encouraging, It also has serious potential as Dubai has already shown to be one of the more progressive states in the region. Read the full story here.